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Full text of "The English and Scottish popular ballads"

THE 



ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH 



POPULAR BALLADS 



EDITED BY 



FRANCIS JAMES CHILD 



PART I 




BOSTON 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

NEW YORK: 11 EAST SEVENTEENTH STREET 

2Dlje ftite rtftoe press, CambriDge 

LONDON : HENRY STEVENS, 4 TRAFALGAR SQUARE 



PR 



Copyright, 1882, by F. J. CHILD. 
All rights reserved. 




The Riverside Press, Cambridge: 
Printed by H. 0. Iloughton and Company. 



To 

FREDERICK J. FURNIVALL, ESQ., 

OF LONDON'. 

MY DEAR FURNIVALL : 

Without the Percy MS. no one would pretend to make a collection of the 
English Ballads, and but for you that mamtscript would still, I think, be beyond 
reach of man, yet exposed to destructive chances. Through your exertions and 
personal sacrifices, directly, the famous and precioiis folio has been printed; and, 
indirectly, in consequence of the same, it has been transferred to a place where 
it is safe, and open to inspection. This is only one of a hundred reasons which 
I have for asking you to accept the dedication of this book from 

Your grateful friend and fellow-student, 

F. y. CHILD. 

Cambridge, Mass., December /, 1882. 



ADVERTISEMENT 



IT was my wish not to begin to print The Eng 
lish and Scottish Popular Ballads until this unre 
stricted title should be justified by my having at 
command every valuable copy of every known bal 
lad. A continuous effort to accomplish this object 
has been making for some nine or ten years, and 
many have joined in it. By correspondence, and 
by an extensive diffusion of printed circulars, I have 
tried to stimulate collection from tradition in Scot 
land, Canada, and the United States, and no becom 
ing means has been left unemployed to obtain pos 
session of unsunned treasures locked up in writing. 
The gathering from tradition has been, as ought 
perhaps to have been foreseen at this late day, 
meagre, and generally of indifferent quality. Ma 
terials in the hands of former editors have, in some 
cases, been lost beyond recovery, and very probably 
have lighted fires, like that large cantle of the Percy 
manuscript, maxime deftendus ! Access to several 
manuscript collections has not yet been secured. 
But what is still lacking is believed to bear no great 
proportion to what is in hand, and may soon come 
in, besides : meanwhile, the uncertainties of the 
world forbid a longer delay to publish so much as 
has been got together. 

Of hitherto unused materials, much the most im 
portant is a large collection of ballads made by 
Motherwell. For leave to take a copy of this I am 
deeply indebted to the present possessor, Mr Mal 
colm Colquhoun Thomson, of Glasgow, who even 
allowed the manuscript to be sent to London, and 
to be retained several months, for my accommoda 
tion. Mr J. Wylie Guild, of Glasgow, also per 
mitted the use of a note-book of Motherwell's which 
supplements the great manuscript, and this my un 
wearied friend, Mr James Barclay Murdoch, to 
whose solicitation I owe both, himself transcribed 
with the most scrupulous accuracy. No other good 
office, asked or unasked, has Mr. Murdoch spared. 

Next in extent to the Motherwell collections 
come those of the late Mr Kinloch. These he 



freely placed at my disposal, and Mr William Mac- 
math, of Edinburgh, made during Mr Kinloch's life 
an exquisite copy of the larger part of them, en 
riched with notes from Mr Kinloch's papers, and 
sent it to me across the water. After Mr Kinloch's 
death his collections were acquired by Harvard Col 
lege Library, still through the agency of Mr Mac- 
math, who has from the beginning rendered a highly 
valued assistance, not less by his suggestions and 
communications than by his zealous mediation. 

No Scottish ballads are superior in kind to those 
recited in the last century by Mrs Brown, of Falk 
land. Of these there are, or were, three sets. One 
formerly owned by Robert Jamieson, the fullest 
of the three, was lent me, to keep as long as I re 
quired, by my honored friend the late Mr David 
Laing, who also secured for me copies of several 
ballads of Mrs Brown which are found in an Ab- 
botsford manuscript, and gave me a transcript of 
the Glenriddell manuscript. The two others were 
written down for William Tytler and Alexander 
Fraser Tytler respectively, the former of these con 
sisting of a portion of the Jamieson texts revised. 
These having for some time been lost sight of, Miss 
Mary Fraser Tytler, with a graciousness which I 
have reason to believe hereditary in the name, made 
search for them, recovered the one which had been 
obtained by Lord Woodhouselee, and copied it for 
me with her own hand. The same lady furnished 
me with another collection which had been made 
by a member of the family. 

For later transcriptions from Scottish tradition I 
am indebted to Mr J. F. Campbell of Islay, whose 
edition and rendering of the racy West Highland 
Tales is marked by the rarest appreciation of the 
popular genius ; to Mrs A. F. Murison, formerly 
of Old Deer, who undertook a quest for ballads in 
her native place on my behalf ; to Mr Alexander 
Laing, of Newburgh-upon-Tay ; to Mr James Gibb, 
of Joppa, who has given me a full score ; to Mr 
David Louden, of Morham, Haddington ; to the 



ADVERTISEMENT 



late Dr John Hill Burton and Miss Ella Burton ; 
to Dr Thomas Davidson. 

The late Mr Robert White, of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, allowed me to look through his collections in 
1873, and subsequently made me a copy of such 
things as I needed, and his ready kindness has been 
continued by Mrs Andrews, his sister, and by Miss 
Andrews, his niece, who has taken a great deal of 
trouble on my account. 

In the south of the mother-island my reliance 
has, of necessity, been chiefly upon libraries. The 
British Museum possesses, besides early copies of 
some of the older ballads, the Percy MS., Herd's 
MSS and Buchan's, and the Roxburgh broadsides. 
The library of the University of Cambridge affords 
one or two things of first-rate importance, and for 
these I am beholden to the accomplished librarian, 
Mr Henry Bradshaw, and to Professor Skeat. I 
have also to thank the Rev. F. Gunton, Dean, and 
the other authorities of Magdalene College, Cam 
bridge, for permitting collations of Pepys ballads, 
most obligingly made for me by Mr Arthur S. B. 
Miller. Many things were required from the Bod 
leian library, and these were looked out for me, 
and scrupulously copied or collated, by Mr George 
Parker. 

Texts of traditional ballads have been communi 
cated to me in America by Mr W. W. Newell, of 
New York, who is soon to give us an interesting 
collection of Children's Games traditional in Amer 
ica; by Dr Huntington, Bishop of Central New 
York ; Mr G. C. Mahon, of Ann Arbor, Michigan ; 
Miss Margaret Reburn, of New Albion, Iowa ; Miss 
Perine, of Baltimore ; Mrs Augustus Lowell, Mrs 
L. F. Wesselhoeft, Mrs Edward Atkinson, of Bos 
ton ; Mrs Gushing, of Cambridge ; Miss Ellen Mars- 
ton, of New Bedford ; Mrs Moncrieff, of London, 
Ontario. 

Acknowledgments not well despatched in a phrase 
are due to many others who have promoted my ob 
jects : to Mr Furnivall, for doing for me everything 
which I could have done for myself had I lived in 
England ; to that master of old songs and music, 
Mr William Chappell, very specially; to Mr J. 
Payne Collier ; Mr Norval Clyne, of Aberdeen ; Mr 
Alexander Young, of Glasgow ; Mr Arthur Lauren- 



son, of Lerwick, Shetland ; Mr J. Burrell Curtis, of 
Edinburgh ; Dr Vigfusson, of Oxford ; Professor 
Edward Arber, of Birmingham ; the Rev. J. Per- 
cival, Mr Francis Fry, Mr J. F. Nicholls, of Bris 
tol ; Professor George Stephens, of Copenhagen ; 
Mr R. Bergstrom, of the Royal Library, Stock 
holm ; Mr W. R. S. Ralston, Mr William Henry 
Husk, Miss Lucy Toulmin Smith, Mr A. F. Muri- 
son, of London ; Professor Sophocles ; Mr W. G. 
Medlicott, of Longmeadow ; to Mr M. Heilprin, of 
New York, Mme de Maltchyce, of Boston, and 
Rabbi Dr Cohn, for indispensable translations from 
Polish and Hungarian ; to Mr James Russell Low 
ell, Minister of the United States at London ; to 
Professor Charles Eliot Norton, for such " pains and 
benefits " as I could ask only of a life-long friend. 

In the editing of these ballads I have closely fol 
lowed the plan of Grundtvig's Old Popular Ballads 
of Denmark, a work which will be prized highest 
by those who have used it most, and which leaves 
nothing to be desired but its completion. The author 
is as much at home in English as in Danish tra 
dition, and whenever he takes up a ballad which is 
common to both nations nothing remains to be dont 
but to supply what has come to light since the tim 
of his writing. But besides the assistance whic'.i I 
have derived from his book, I have enjoyer 7 the 
advantage of Professor Grundtvig's criticisn and 
advice, and have received from him unprintf I Dan 
ish texts, and other aid in many ways. 

Such further explanations as to the plar and con 
duct of the work as may be desirable can be more 
conveniently given by and by. I may say here that 
textual points which may seem to be neglected will 
be considered in an intended Glossary, with which 
will be given a full account of Sources, and such 
indexes of Titles and Matters as will make it easy 
to find everything that the book may contain. 

With renewed thanks to all helpers, and helpers' 
helpers, I would invoke the largest cooperation for 
the correction of errors and the supplying of de 
ficiencies. To forestall a misunderstanding which 
has often occurred, I beg to say that every tra 
ditional version of a popular ballad is desired, no 
matter how many texts of the same may have been 
printed already. 

F. J. CHILD. 



CONTENTS 



PAGB 

1. REDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 1 

2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 6 

3. THE FAUSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD 20 

4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 22 

5. GIL BRENTON 62 

6. WILLIE'S LADY 81 

7. EARL BRAND 88 

8. ERLINTON x . 106 

9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND Ill 

10. THE TWA SISTERS . . ..:'. . . 118 

11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 141 

12. LORD RANDAL 151 

13. EDWARD . 167 

14. BABYLON ; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS o FORDEE 170 

15. LEESOME BRAND 177 

16. SHEATH AND KNIFE . . . . 185 

17. HIND HORN '187 

18. SIR LIONEL . 208 

19. KING ORFEO 215 

20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 218 

21. THE MAID AND THE PALMER (THE SAMARITAN WOMAN) 228 

22. ST. STEPHEN AND HEROD 233 

23. JUDAS 242 

24. BONNIE ANNIE 244 

25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 247 

26. THE THREE RAVENS . . . .253 

27. THE WHUMMIL BORE 255 

28. BURD ELLEN AND YOUNG TAMLANE . 256 



RIDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 



A. a. 'A Noble Riddle Wisely Expounded; or, The 
Maid's Answer to the Knight's Three Questions,' 
4to, Rawlinson, 566, fol. 193, Bodleian Library; 
Wood, E. 25, fol. 15, Bod. Lib. b. Pepys, in, 19, 
No 17, Magdalen College, Cambridge, c. Douce, 
ii, fol. 168 b, Bod. Lib. d. ' A Riddle Wittily Ex 
pounded,' Pills to Purge Melancholy, IV, 129, ed. 
1719. "II, 129, ed. 1712." 



B. ' The Three Sisters.' Some Ancient Christmas 
Carols . . . together with two Ancient Ballads, etc. 
By Davies Gilbert, 2d ed., p. 65. 

C. ' The Unco Knicht's Wowing,' Motherwell's MS., 
p. 647. 

D. Motherwell's MS., p. 142. 



THE four copies of A differ but very slight 
ly : a, b, c are broadsides, and d is evidently 
of that derivation, a and b are of the 17th 
century. There is another broadside in the 
Euing collection, formerly Halliwell's, "No 
253. The version in The Borderer's Table 
Book, vii, 83, was compounded by Dixon 
from others previously printed. 

Riddles, as is well known, play an impor 
tant part in popular story, and that from very 
remote times. No one needs to be reminded 
of Samson, CEdipus, Apollonius of Tyre. Rid 
dle-tales, which, if not so old as the oldest of 
these, may be carried in all likelihood some 
centuries beyond our era, still live in Asiatic 
and European tradition, and have their repre 
sentatives in popular ballads. The largest 
class of these tales is that in which one party 
has to guess another's riddles, or two rivals 
compete in giving or guessing, under penalty 
in either instance of forfeiting life or some 
other heavy wager ; an example of which is 
the English ballad, modern in form, of * King 
John and the Abbot of Canterbury.' In a 
second class, a suitor can win a lady's hand 
only by guessing riddles, as in our ' Captain 
Wedderburn's Courtship' and 'Proud Lady 
Margaret.' There is sometimes a penalty of 
loss of life for the unsuccessful, but not in 
these ballads. Thirdly, there is the tale (per 
haps an offshoot of an early form of the first) 



of The Clever Lass, who wins a husband, and 
sometimes a crown, by guessing riddles, solv 
ing difficult but practicable problems, or match 
ing and evading impossibilities; and of this 
class versions A and B of the present ballad 
and A-H of the following are specimens. 

Ballads like our 1, A, B, 2, A-H, are very 
common in German. Of the former variety 
are the following : 

A. ' Rathsellied,' Biisching, Wochentliche 
Nachrichten, I, 65, from the neighborhood of 
Stuttgart. The same, Erlach, in, 37 ; Wun- 
derhorn, IV, 139 ; Liederhort, p. 338, No 153 ; 
Erk u. Inner, H. 5, p. 32, No 29 ; Mittler, No 
1307 (omits the last stanza) ; Zuccalmaglio, 
n, 574, No 317 [with change in st. 11]. A 
knight meets a maid on the road, dismounts, 
and says, " I will ask you a riddle ; if you guess 
it, you shall be my wife." She answers, " Your 
riddle shall soon be guessed ; I will do my best 
to be your wife ; " guesses eight pairs of rid 
dles, is taken up behind him, and they ride 
off. B. ' Rathsel urn Rathsel,' Wunderhorn, 
n, 407 [429, 418] = Erlach, I, 439. Zuccal 
maglio, n, 572, No 316, rearranges, but adds 
nothing. Mittler, No 1306, inserts three 
stanzas (7, 9, 10). This version begins: 
" Maid, I will give -you some riddles, and if 
you guess them will marry you." There are 
seven pairs, and, these guessed, the man says, 
" I can't give you riddles ; let 's marry ; " to 



1. RIDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 



which she gives no coy assent : but this con 
clusion is said not to be genuine (Liederhort, 
p. 341, note). C. 'Rathsellied,' Evk, Neue 
Sammlung, Heft 3, p. 64, No 57, and Lieder 
hort, 340, No 153 a , two Brandenburg ver 
sions, nearly agreeing, one with six, the other 
with five, pairs of riddles. A proper conclu 
sion not having been obtained, the former was 
completed by the two last stanzas of B, which 
are suspicious. C begins like B. D. ' Rath- 
selfragen,' Peter, Volksthiimliches aus Oster- 
reichisch-Schlesien, I, 272, No 83. A knight 
rides by where two maids are sitting, one of 
whom salutes him, the other not. He says to 
the former, " I will put you three questions, 
and if you can answer them will marry you." 
He asks three, then six more, then three, and 
then two, and, all being answered, bids her, 
since she is so witty, build a house on a 
needle's point, and put in as many windows 
as there are stars in the sky ; which she par 
ries with, " When all streams flow together, 
and all trees shall fruit, and all thorns bear 
roses, then come for your answer." E. ' Rath 
sellied,' Tschischka u. Schottky, Oesterreich- 
ische Volkslieder, 2d ed., p. 28, begins like B, 
C, has only three pairs of riddles, and ends with 
the same task of building a house on a needle's 
point. F. * Rathsellied,' Hocker, Volkslieder 
von der Mosel, in Wolf's Zeits. fiir deutsche 
Myth., I, 251, from Trier, begins with the 
usual promise, has five pairs of riddles, and 
no conclusion. G. ' Rathsel,' Ditfurth, Frank- 
ische V. L., II, 110, No 146, has the same be 
ginning, six pairs of riddles, and no conclusion. 



Some of the riddles occur in nearly all the 
versions, some in only one or two, and there 
is now and then a variation also in the an 
swers. Those which are most frequent are : 

Which is the maid without a tress ? A-D, G. 

And which is the tower without a crest ? A-D, F, G. 

(Maid-child in the cradle ; tower of Babel.) 
Which is the water without any sand ? A, B, C, F, G. 
And which is the king without any land ? A, B, C, 
F, G. 

(Water in the eyes ; king in cards.) 
Where is no dust in all the road ? A-G. 
Where is no leaf in all the wood ? A-G. 

(The milky way, or a river ; a fir-wood.) 
Which is the fire that never burnt ? A, C-G. 
And which is the sword without a point ? C-G. 

(A painted fire ; a broken sword.) 
Which is the house without a mouse ? C-G. 
Which is the beggar without a louse ? C-G. 

(A snail's house ; a painted beggar.)* 

A ballad translated in Ralston's Songs of 
the Russian People, p. 356, from Buslaef's 
Historical Sketches of National Literature and 
Art, I, 31, resembles very closely German A. 
A merchant's son drives by a garden where a 
girl is gathering flowers. He salutes her ; she 
returns her thanks. Then the ballad pro 
ceeds : 

' Shall I ask thee riddles, beauteous maiden ? 
Six wise riddles shall I ask thee ? ' 
' Ask them, ask them, merchant's son, 
Prithee ask the six wise riddles.' 
' Well then, maiden, what is higher than the for 
est? 
Also, what is brighter than the light ? 



* D 4, What is green as clover ? What is white as milk ? 
comes near to English A 15, C 13, D 5, What is greener 
than grass? C 11, D 2, What is whiter than milk? We 
have again, What is greener than grass ? in ' Capt. Wedder- 
burn's Courtship,' A 12 ; What is whiter than snow ? What 
is greener than clover ? in ' Rathselfragen,' Firmenich, Ger- 
maniens Volkerstimmen, in, 634 ; in ' Kranzsingen,' E_rkjs 
Liederhort. p. 342, 3; ' Traugemundslied,' 11; ' Ein Spiel 
von den Freiheit,' Fastnachtspiele aus dem 1 5n jTahrhun- 
dert, 11, 555; Altdeutsche Walder, in, 138. So, What is 
whiter than a swan ? in many of the versions of Svend 
Vonved, Grundtvig, in, 786; iv, 742-3-7-8 ; Afzelius, n, 
139, etc.; and Sin is blacker than a sloe, or coal (cf. C 15, 
Sin is heavier nor the lead), Grundtvig, i, 240, 247 ; iv, 
748, 9; Afzelius, 11, 139. The road without dust and 
the tree without leaves are in ' Ein Spiel von den Freiheit,' 
p. 557 ; and in Meier, Deutsche Kinderreime, p. 84, no doubt 



a fragment of a ballad, as also the verses in Firmenich. 
The question in German, A 4, Welches ist das trefflichste 
Holz ? (die Rebe) is in the Anglo-Saxon prose Salomon and 
Saturn: Kemble, Sal. and Sat. 188, No 40; 204; see also 
287, 10. Riddle verses with little or no story (sometimes 
fragments of ballads like D) are frequent. The Trauge- 
rrmndslied, Uhland, i, 3, and the Spiel von den Freiheit, 
Fastnachtspiele, n, 553, have only as much story as will 
serve as an excuse for long strings of riddles. Shorter pieces 
of the kind are (Italian) Kaden, Italiens Wunderhern, p. 14; 
(Servian) 'The Maid and the Fish,' Vuk, i, 196, No 285, 
Talvj, n, 176, Goetze, Serbische V. L., p. 75, Bowring, Ser 
vian Popular Poetry, p. 184; (Polish) Wojcicki, i, 203; 
(Wendish) Haupt and Schmaler, i, 177, No 150, n, 69, No 
74; (Russian) Wenzig, Bibliothek Slav. Poesie, p. 174; (Es- 
thonian) Neus, Ehstnische V. L., 390 ff, and Fosterlandskt 
Album, i, 13, Prior, Ancient Danish Ballads, n, 341. 



1. RIDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 



Also, maiden, what is thicker than the forest ? 
Also, maiden, what is there that 's rootless ? 
Also, maiden, what is never silent ? 
Also, what is there past finding out ? ' 
' I will answer, merchant's son, will answer, 
All the six wise riddles will I answer. 
Higher than the forest is the moon ; 
Brighter than the light the ruddy sun ; 
Thicker than the forest are the stars ; 
Rootless is, merchant's son, a stone ; 
Never silent, merchant's son, the sea ; 
And God's will is past all finding out.' 
' Thou hast guessed, maiden fair, guessed rightly, 
All the six wise riddles hast thou answered ; 
Therefore now to me shalt thou be wedded, 
Therefore, maiden, shalt thou be the merchant's 
wife.' * 

Among the Gaels, both Scotch and Irish, a 
ballad of the same description is extremely 
well known. Apparently only the questions 
are preserved in verse, and the connection 
with the story made by a prose comment. Of 
these questions there is an Irish form, dated 
1738, which purports to be copied from a 
manuscript of the twelfth century. Fionn 
would marry no lady whom he could pose. 
Graidhne, "daughter of the king of the 
fifth of Ullin," answered everything he asked, 
and became his wife. Altogether there are 



thirty-two questions in the several versions. 
Among them are: What is blacker than 
the raven ? (There is death.) What is 
whiter than the snow? (There is the truth.) 
* Fionn's Questions,' Campbell's Popular Tales 
of the West Highlands, in, 36 ; ' Fionn's Con 
versation with Ailbhe,' Heroic Gaelic Ballads, 
by the same, pp. 150, 151. 

The familiar ballad-knight of A, B is con 
verted in C into an " unco knicht," who is the 
devil, a departure from the proper story which 
is found also in 2 J. The conclusion of C, 

As soon as she the fiend did name, 
He flew awa in a blazing flame, 

reminds us of the behavior of trolls and nixes 
under like circumstances, but here the naming 
amounts to a detection of the Unco Knicht's 
quiddity, acts as an exorcism, and simply 
obliges the fiend to go off in his real charac 
ter. D belongs with C : it was given by the 
reciter as a colloquy between the devil and a 
maiden. 

The earlier affinities of this ballad can be 
better shown in connection with No 2. 

Translated, after B and A, in Grundtvig's 
Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 181 : Her 
der, Volkslieder, I, 95,. after A d. 



a. Broadside in the Rawlinson collection, 4to, 566, fol. 
193, Wood, E. 25, fol. 15. b. Pepys, in, 19, No ]7. c. 
Douce, ii, fol. 168 b. d. Pills to Purge Melancholy, iv, 
130, ed. 1719. 

1 THEKE was a lady of the North Country, 

Lay the bent to the bonny broom 
And she had lovely daughters three. 
Fa la la la, fa la la la ra re 

2 There was a knight of noble worth 
Which also lived in the North. 

3 The knight, of courage stout and brave, 
A wife he did desire to have. 



* ' Capt. "Wedderburn's Courtship,' 12 : What 'a higher 
than the tree ? (heaven). Wojcicki, Pies'ni, i, 203, 1. 11, 206, 
1. 3 ; What grows without a root ? (a stone). 



4 He knocked at the ladie's gate 
One evening when it was late. 

5 The eldest sister let him in, 

And pin'd the door with a silver pin. 

6 The second sister she made his bed, 
And laid soft pillows under his head. 

7 The youngest daughter that same night, 
She went to bed to this young knight. 

8 And in the morning, when it was day, 
These words unto him she did say : 

9 ' Now you have had your will,' quoth she, 
' I pray, sir knight, will you marry me ? ' 

10 The young brave knight to her replyed, 
' Thy suit, fair maid, shall not be deny'd. 



1. RIDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 



11 ' If thou canst answer me questions three, 
This very day will I marry thee.' 

12 ' Kind sir, in love, then,' quoth she, 

' Tell me what your [three] questions he.' 

13 ' what is longer th%n the way, 
Or what is deeper than the sea ? 

14 ' Or what is louder than the horn, 
Or what is sharper than a thorn ? 

15 ' Or what is greener than the grass, 
Or what is worse then a woman was ? ' 

16 ' love is longer than the way, 
And hell is deeper than the sea. 

17 ' And thunder is louder than the horn, 
And hunger is sharper than a thorn. 



18 ' And poyson is greener than the grass, 
And the Devil is worse than woman was.' 

19 When she these questions answered had, 
The knight hecame exceeding glad. 

20 And having [truly] try'd her wit, 
He much commended her for it. 

21 And after, as it is verifi'd, 

He made of her his lovely hride. 

22 So now, fair maidens all, adieu, 
This song I dedicate to you. 

23 I wish that you may constant prove 
Vnto the man that you do love. 



B 



Gilbert's Christmas Carols, 2d ed., p. 65, from the editor's 
recollection. West of England. 

1 THERE were three sisters fair and bright, 

Jennifer gentle and rosemaree 
And they three loved one valiant knight. 
As the dew flies over the mulberry tree 

2 The eldest sister let him in, 

And barred the door with a silver pin. 

3 The second sister made his bed, 

And placed soft pillows under his head. 

4 The youngest sister, fair and bright, 

Was resolved for to wed with this valiant 
knight. 



5 ' And if you can answer questions three, 
O then, fair maid, I will marry with thee. 

6 ' What is louder than an horn, 
And what is sharper than a thorn ? 

7 ' Thunder is louder than an horn, 
And hunger is sharper than a thorn.' 

8 ' What is broader than the way, 
And what is deeper than the sea ? ' 

9 ' Love is broader than the way, 
And hell is deeper than the sea.' 



10 



' And now, fair maid, I will marry with thee.' 







Motherwell's MS., p. 647. From the recitation of Mrs 
Storie. 

1 THERE was a knicht riding frae the east, 

Sing the Gather banks, the bonnie brume 
Wha had been wooing at monie a place. 
And ye may beguile a young thing sune 



2 He came unto a widow's door, 

And speird whare her three dochters were. 

3 The auldest ane 's to a washing gane, 
The second 's to a baking gane. 

4 The youngest ane 's to a wedding gane, 
And it will be nicht or she be hame. 



1. RIDDLES WISELY EXPOUNDED 



5 He sat him doun upon a stane, 

Till thir three lasses came tripping hame. 

6 The auldest ane 's to the bed making, 

And the second ane 's to the sheet spreading. 

7 The youngest ane was bauld and bricht, 
And she was to lye with this unco knicht. 

8 ' Gin ye will answer me questions ten, 
The morn ye sail be made my ain. 

9 ' what is heigher nor the tree ? 
And what is deeper nor the sea ? 

10 ' Or what is heavier nor the lead ? 
And what is better nor the breid ? 



13 ' Or what is greener nor the grass ? 
Or what is waur nor a woman was ? ' 

14 ' O heaven is higher nor the tree, 
And hell is deeper nor the sea. 

15 ' sin is heavier nor the lead, 
The blessing 's better nor the bread. 

16 ' The snaw is whiter nor the milk, 
And the down is safter nor the silk. 

17 ' Hunger is sharper nor a thorn, 
And shame is louder nor a horn. 

18 ; The pies are greener nor the grass, 
And Clootie's waur nor a woman was.' 



11 ' what is whiter nor the milk ? 
Or what is safter nor the silk ? 



19 As sune as she the fiend did name, 
He flew awa in a blazing flame. 



12 ' Or what is sharper nor a thorn ? 
Or what is louder nor a horn ? 



D 



Motherwell'a MS., p. 142. 

1 ' WHAT is higher than the trees ? 

Gar lay the bent to the bonny broom 
And what is deeper than the seas ? 

And you may beguile a fair maid soon 

2 ' O what is whiter than the milk ? 
Or what is softer than the silk ? 



5 ' what is greener than the grass ? 
And what is worse than woman was ? ' 

6 ' O heaven 's higher than the trees, 
And hell is deeper than the seas. 

7 ' And snow is whiter than the milk, 
And love is softer than the silk. 

8 ' hunger 's sharper than the thorn, 
And thunder 's louder than the horn. 



3 ' what is sharper than the thorn ? 
what is louder than the horn ? 

4 ' what is longer than the way ? 
And what is colder than the clay ? 



9 ' O wind is longer than the way, 
And death is colder than the clay. 

10 ' O poison 's greener than the grass, 

And the Devil 's worse than eer woman was.' 



A. a. Title. A Noble Kiddle wisely Expounded : 
or, The Maids answer to the Knights Three 
Questions. 

She with her excellent wit and civil carriage, 
Won a young Knight to joyn with him in mar 
riage ; 

This gallant couple now is man and wife, 
And she with him doth lead a pleasant Life. 
Tune of Lay the bent to the bonny broom. 



WOODCUT OF 
THE KNIGHT. 




WOODCUT OF 
THE MAID. 



c. Knights questions. Wed a knight 
with her in marriage. 



6 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



a. Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, I. Wright, 
and I. Clarke. 

b. Printed for W. Thackeray, E. M. and A. M. 

c. Licens'd according to Order. London. 
Printed by Tho. Norris, at the L[o]oking 
glass on London-bridge. And sold by J. 
Walter, in High Holborn. 

In Rawlinson and Wood the first seven lines 
are in Roman and Italic type ; the remain 
der being in black letter and Roman. The 
Pepys copy has one line of the ballad in 
black letter and one line in Roman type. 
The Douce edition is in Roman and Italic. 
A. I 1 , c, i' th' North : d, in the. 

3 1 . c, This knight. 

5 1 . a, b, c, d, The youngest sister. 

7 1 . b, d, The youngest that same, c, that 
very same. 

7 2 . a, with this young knight. 
9 2 . d, sir knight, you marry me. 

After 10, there is a wood-cut of the knight 
and the maid in a ; in b two cuts of the 
knight. 

II 2 . C, I '11 marry, d, I will. 

12 1 . c omits in love. 12 2 . b, c, d, three 
questions. 

14 1 . d, a horn. 

After 15 : a, Here follows the Damosels an 
swer to the Knight's Three Questions : c, 



The Damsel's Answers To The Knight's 

Questions : d, The Damsel's Answer to the 

Three Questions. 
17, 18. b, c, d, thunder 's, hunger 's, poy- 

son 's, devil 's. 
18 2 . d, the woman. 
19 1 . c, those. 
20. a, b omit truly. 
21 1 . b, c, d, as 't is. 

B. The burden is printed by Gilbert, in the text, 

" Jennifer gentle and Rosemaree." He ap 
pears to take Jennifer and Rosemaree to be 
names of the sisters. As printed under the 
music, the burden runs, 

Juniper, Gentle and Rosemary. 

No doubt, juniper and rosemary, simply, are 
meant ; Gentle might possibly be for gentian. 
In 2 H the burden is, 

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme : 
curiously varied in I thus : 

Every rose grows merry wi thyme : 
and in G, 

Sober and grave grows merry in time. 

C. 18. " Vergris in another set." M. 

D. MS. before st. 1, " The Devil speaks ; " before 

st. 6, ' The maiden speaks." 



THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



A. ' A proper new ballad entituled The Wind hath 
blown my Plaid away, or, A Discourse betwixt a 
young [Wo]man and the Elphin Knight; ' a broad 
side in black letter in the Pepysian library, bound up 
at the end of a copy of Blind Harry's ' Wallace,' 
Edin. 1673. 

B. ' A proper new ballad entitled The Wind hath 
blawn my Plaid awa,' etc. Webster, A Collection 
of Curious Old Ballads, p. 3. 

C. ' The Elfin Knicht,' Kiuloch's Anc. Scott. Ballads, 
p. 145. 

D. ' The Fairy Knight,' Buchan, n, 296. 

E. Motherwell's MS., p. 492. 



F. Lord John,' Kinloch MSS, I, 75. 

G. The Cambrick Shirt,' Gammer Gurton's Garland, 
p. 3, ed. 1810. 

H. The Deil's Courtship,' Motherwell's MS., p. 92. 
I. ' The Deil's Courting,' MotherweU's MS.,' p. 103. 

J. Communicated by Rev. Dr Huntirigton, Bishop of 
Western New York, as sung at Had'ley, Mass. 

K. Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, p. 109, No 
171, 6th ed. 

L. Notes and Queries, 1st S., vu, 8. 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



PlNKEKTON gave the first information con 
cerning A, in Ancient Scotish Poems . . . 
from the MS. collections of Sir Richard Mait- 
land, etc., II, 496, and he there printed the 
first and last stanzas of the broadside. Moth- 
erwell printed the whole in the appendix to 
his Minstrelsy, No I. What stands as the 
last stanza in the broadside is now prefixed to 
the ballad, as having been the original burden. 
It is the only example, so far as I remember, 
which our ballads afford of a burden of this 
kind, one that is of greater extent than the 
stanza with which it was sung, though this 
kind of burden seems to have been common 
enough with old songs and carols.* 

The " old copy in black letter " used for B 
was close to A, if not identical, and has the 
burden-stem at the end like A. * The Jock 
ey's Lamentation,' Pills to Purge Melancholy, 
V, 317, has the burden, 

'T is oer the hills and far away [thrice], 
The wind hath blown my plaid away. 

The ' Bridal Sark,' Cromek's Remains of 
Nithsdale and Galloway Song, p. 108, and 
' The Bridegroom Darg,' p. 113, are of mod 
ern manufacture and impostures ; at least, 
they seem to have imposed upon Cromek. 

A like ballad is very common in German. 
A man would take, or keep, a woman for his 
love or his wife [servant, in one case], if she 
would spin brown silk from oaten straw. She 
will do this if he will make clothes for her 
of the linden-leaf. Then she must bring him 
shears from the middle of the Rhine. But 



first he must build her a bridge from a single 
twig, etc., etc. To this effect, with some va 
riations in the tasks set, in A, ' Eitle Dinge,' 
Rhaw, Bicinia (1545), Uhland, I, 14, No 4 
A, Bohme, p. 376, No 293. B. ' Van ideln 
unmoglichen Dingen,' Neocorus (f c. 1630), 
Chronik des Landes Ditmarschen, ed. Dahl- 
mann, p. 180 = Uhland, p. 15, No 4 B, Miil- 
lenhof, p. 473, Bohme, p. 376, No 294. C. 
Wunderhorn, n, 410 [431] = Erlach, i, 441, 
slightly altered in Kretzschmer [Zuccalrna- 
glio], II, 620. D. ' Unmoglichkeiten,' Schmel- 
ler, Die Mundarten Bayerns, p. 556. E. Schle- 
sische Volkslieder, p. 115, No 93. P. ' Liebes- 
Neckerei,' Meier, Schwabische V. L., p. 114, 
No 39. G. ' Liebesspielereien,' Ditfurth, 
Frankische V. L., II, 109, No 144. H. ' Von 
eitel unmoglichen Dingen,' Erk's Liederhort, 
p. 337, No 152 b . L ' Unmogliches Begehr- 
en,' V. L. aus Oesterreich, Deutsches Mu 
seum, 1862, n, 806, No 16. X ' Unmog- 
liche Dinge,' Peter, Volksthiimliches aus 
Osterreichisch-Schlesien, I, 270, No 82. In 
K, ' Wettgesang,' Meinert, p. 80, and L, 
Liederhort, p. 334, No 152, there is a simple 
contest of wits between a youth and a maid, 
and in M, Erk, Neue Sammlung, H. 2, No 
11, p. 16, and N, ' Wunderbare Aufgaben,' 
Prohle, Weltliche u. geistliche Volkslieder, p. 
36, No 22 B, the wit-contest is added to the 
very insipid ballad of * Gemalte Rosen.' 

' Store Fordringar,' Kristensen, Jydske 
Folkeviser, I, 221, No 82, and ' Opsang,' 
Lindeman, Norske Fjeldmelodier, No 35 
(Text Bilag, p. 6), closely resemble German 



* All that was required of the burden, Mr Chappell kindly 
rites me, was to support the voice by harmonious notes 
under the melody ; it was not sung after each half of the 
aza, or after the stanza, and it was heard separately only 
rhen the voices singing the air stopped. Even the Danish 
illads exhibit but a few cases of these " burden-stems," as 
Jrundtvig calls them: see Danmarks Gamle Folkeviser, 
221, B 1 ; 295, B 1 ; 393, A 1 : in, 197, D; 470, A. 
Such burden-stems are, however, very common in Icelandic 
llads. They are, for the most part, of a different metre 
the ballad, and very often not of the same number of 
ies as the ballad stanza. A part of the burden stem would 
seem to be taken for the refrain ; as Islenzk FornkvasSi, i, 
30, of four verses, 1, 2, 4; 129, of two, the last half of the 
first and all the second; 194, ef four, the last; 225, of five, 
ie last two ; n, 52, of five, the second and last two. 
In later times the Danish stev-stamme was made to con 



form to the metre of the ballad, and sung as the first stanza, 
the last line perhaps forming the burden. Compare the stev- 
stamme, Grundtvig, in, 470, with the first stanza of the bal 
lad at p. 475. If not so changed, says Grundtvig, it dropped 
away. Lyngbye, at the end of his Fseroiske Qvasder, gives 
the music of a ballad which he had heard sung. The whole 
stem is sung first, and then repeated as a burden at the end 
of every verse. The modern way, judging by Berggreen, 
Folke-Sange og Melodicr, 3d ed., i, 352, 358, is simply to sing 
the whole stem after each verse, and so says Grundtvig, in, 
200, D. The whole stem is appended to the last stanza 
(where, as usual, the burden, which had been omitted after 
stanza 1, is again expressed) in the Faroe ballad in Grundt 
vig, in, 199, exactly as in our broadside, or in Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. iii. I must avow myself to be very 
much in the dark as to the exact relation of stem and bur 
den. 



8 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



M, N. In the Stev, or alternate song, in 
Landstad, p. 375, two singers vie one with an 
other in propounding impossible tasks. 

A Wendish ballad, Haupt and Schmaler, I, 
178, No 151, and a Slovak, Celakowsky, n, 
68, No 12 (the latter translated by Wenzig, 
Slawische Volkslieder, p. 86, Westslavischer 
Marchenschatz, p. 221, and Bibliothek Sla- 
vischer Poesien, p. 126), have lost nearly all 
their story, and, like German K, L, may be 
called mere wit-contests. 

The Graidhne whom we have seen winning 
Fionn for husband by guessing his riddles, p. 
3, afterwards became enamored of Diarmaid, 
Fionn's nephew, in consequence of her acci 
dentally seeing a beauty spot on Diarmaid's 
forehead. This had the power of infecting 
with love any woman whose eye should light 
upon it : wherefore Diarmaid used to wear his 
cap well down. Graidhne tried to make Diar 
maid run away with her. But he said, "I will 
not go with thee. I will not take thee in soft 
ness, and I will not take thee in hardness ; I 
will not take thee without, and I will not take 
thee within ; I will not take thee on horseback, 
and I will not take thee on foot." Then he 
went and built himself a house where he 
thought he should be out of her way. But 
Graidhne found him out. She took up a posi 
tion between the two sides of the door, on a 
buck goat, and called to him to go with her. 
For, said she, "I am not without, I am not 
within ; I am not on foot, and I am not on a 
horse; and thou must go with me." After 
this Diarmaid had no choice. * Diarmaid and 
Grainne,' Tales of the West Highlands, in, 
39-49 ; ' How Fingal got Graine to be his 
wife, and she went away with Diarmaid,' 
Heroic Gaelic Ballads, p. 153 ; * The Death 
of Diarmaid,' ib., p. 154. The last two were 
written down c. 1774. 

In all stories of the kind, the person upon 
whom a task is imposed stands acquitted, if 
another of no less difficulty is devised which 
must be performed first. This preliminary 
may be something that is essential for the ex- 

* Grundtvig has noticed the resemblance of G. R. 64 and 
the ballad. Much of what follows is derived from the ad 
mirable Benfey's papers, ' Die klnge Dirne, Die indischen 



ecution of the other, as in the German bal 
lads, or equally well something that has no 
kind of relation to the original requisition, as 
in the English ballads. 

An early form of such a story is preserved 
in Gesta Romanorum, c. 64, Oesterley, p. 374. 
It were much to be wished that search were 
made for a better copy, for, as it stands, this 
tale is to be interpreted only by the English 
ballad. The old English version, Madden, 
XLIU, p. 142, is even worse mutilated than 
the Latin. A king, who was stronger, wiser, 
and handsomer than any man, delayed, like 
the Marquis of Saluzzo, to take a wife. His 
friends urged him to marry, and he replied 
to their expostulations, " You know I am rich 
enough and powerful enough ; find me a maid 
who is good looking and sensible, and 1 will 
take her to wife, though she be poor." A maid 
was found who was eminently good looking 
and sensible, and of royal blood besides. The 
king wished to make trial of her sagacity, and 
sent her a bit of linen three inches square, 
with a promise to marry her if she would 
make him a shirt of this, of proper length and 
width. The lady stipulated that the king 
should send her " a vessel in which she could 
work," and she would make the shirt : " rnichi 
vas concedat in quo operari potero, et camisiam 
satis longam ei promitto." So the king sent 
" vas debitum et preciosum," the shirt was 
made, and the king married her.* It may be 
doubted whether the sagacious maid did not, 
in the unmutilated story, deal with the prob 
lem as is done in a Transylvanian tale, Halt- 
rich, Deutsche Volksmarchen, u. s. w., No 45, p. 
245, where the king requires the maid to make 
a shirt and drawers of two threads. The 
maid, in this instance, sends the king a couple 
of broomsticks, requiring that he should first 
make her a loom and bobbin-wheel out of them. 

The tale just cited, 'Der Burghiiter und 
seine kluge Tochter,' is one of several which 
have been obtained from tradition in this 
century, that link the ballads of The Clever 
Lass with oriental stories of great age. The 

Marchen von den klugen Rathsellosern, nnd ihre Vcrbreitung 
iiber Asien und Europa,' Ausland, 1859, p. 457, 486, 511, 567, 
589, in Nos 20, 21, 22, 24, 25. 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



material points are these. A king requires 
the people of a parish to answer three ques 
tions, or he will be the destruction of them 
all : What is the finest sound, the finest song, 
the finest stone ? A poor warder is instructed 
by his daughter to reply, the ring of bells, the 
song of the angels, the philosopher's stone. 
*' Right," says the king, " but that never came 
out of your head. Confess who told you, or 
a dungeon is your doom." The man owns 
that he has a clever daughter, who had told 
him what to say. The king, to prove her sa 
gacity further, requires her to make a shirt and 
drawers of two threads, and she responds in 
the manner just indicated. He next sends her 
by her father an earthen pot with the bottom 
out, and tells her to sew in a bottom so that 
no seam or stitch can be seen. She sends her 
father back with a request that the king 
should first turn the pot inside out, for cob 
blers always sew on the inside, not on the out. 
The king next demanded that the girl should 
come to him, neither driving, nor walking, nor 
riding ; neither dressed nor naked ; neither 
out of the road nor in the road ; and bring him 
something that was a gift and no gift. She 
put two wasps between two plates, stripped, 
enveloped herself in a fishing-net, put her 
goat into the rut in the road, and, with one 
foot on the goat's back, the other stepping 
along the rut, made her way to the king. 
There she lifted up one of the plates, and 
the wasps flew away : so she had brought the 
king a present and yet no present. The king 
thought he could never find a shrewder woman, 
md married her. 
Of the same tenor are a tale in Zingerle's 

O 

Tyrolese Kinder u. Hausmarchen, ' Was ist 
das Schonste, Starkste und Reichste?' No. 
27, p. 162, and another in the Colshorns' 
Hanoverian Marchen u. Sagen, ' Die kluge 
Dime,' No 26, p. 79. Here a rich and a poor 
peasant [a farmer and his bailiff] have a case 
in court, and wrangle till the magistrate, in 
ris weariness, says he will give them three 

* Kagnar LoSbrok (Saga, c. 4, Rafn, Fomaldar Sogur, i, 
245), as pointed out by the Grimms, notes to No 94, re 
quires Kraka (Aslaug) to come to him clothed and not 
clothed, fasting and not fasting, alone and not without a 
2 



questions, and whichever answers right shall 
win. The questions in the former tale are : 
What is the most beautiful, what the strong 
est, what the richest thing in the world? 
In the other, What is fatter than fat ? How 
heavy is the moon ? How far is it to heaven ? 
The answers suggested by the poor peasant's 
daughter are : Spring is the most beautiful of 
things, the ground the strongest, autumn the 
richest. And the bailiff's daughter answers': 
The ground is fatter than fat, for out of it 
comes all that 's fat, and this all goes back 
again ; the moon has four quarters, and four 
quarters make a pound ; heaven is only one 
day's journey, for we read in the Bible, " To 
day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." The 
judge sees that these replies are beyond the 
wit of the respondents, and they own to' hav 
ing been prompted by a daughter at home. 
The judge then says that if the girl will come 
to him neither dressed nor naked, etc., he will 
marry her ; and so the shrewd wench becomes 
a magistrate's wife. 

' Die kluge Bauerntochter,' in the Grimms' 
K. u. H. marchen, No 94, and ' Die kluge 
Hirtentochter,' in Prohle's Marchen fur die 
Jugend, No 49, p. 181, afford another variety 
of these tales. A peasant, against the advice 
of his daughter, carries the king a golden mor 
tar, as he had found it, without any pestle. 
The king shuts him up in prison till he shall 
produce the pestle [Grimms]. The man does 
nothing but cry, " Oh, that I had listened to 
my daughter ! " The king sends for him, and, 
learning what the girl's counsel had been, says 
he will give her a riddle, and if she can make 
it out will marry her. She must come to him 
neither clothed nor naked, neither riding nor 
driving, etc. The girl wraps herself in a fish 
ing-net [Grimms, in bark, Prohle], satisfies the 
other stipulations also, and becomes a queen.* 

Another story of the kind, and very well 
preserved, is No 25 of Vuk's Volksmiirchen 
der Serben, ' Von dem Madchen das an Weis- 
heit den Kaiser iibertraf,' p. 157. A poor 

companion. She puts on a fishing-net, bites a leek, and 
takes her dog with her. References for the very frequent oc 
currence of this feature may be found in Oesterley's note to 
Gesta Romanorum, No 124, at- p. 732. 



10 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



man had a wise daughter. An emperor gave 
him thirty eggs, and said his daughter must 
hatch chickens from these, or it would go hard 
with her. The girl perceived that the eggs 
had been boiled. She boiled some beans, and 
told her father to be ploughing along the road, 
and when the emperor came in sight, to sow 
them and cry, " God grant my boiled beans 
may come up ! " The emperor, hearing these 
ejaculations, stopped, and said, " My poor 
fellow, how can boiled beans grow?" The 
father answered, according to instructions, 
" As well as chickens can hatch from boiled 
eggs." Then the emperor gave the old man 
a bundle of linen, and bade him make of it, 
on pain of death, sails and everything else 
requisite for a ship. The girl gave her father 
a piece of wood, and sent him back to the 
emperor with the message that she would per 
form what he had ordered, if he would first 
make her a distaff, spindle, and loom out of 
the wood. The emperor was astonished at the 
girl's readiness, and gave the old man a, glass, 
with which she was to drain the sea. The girl 
dispatched her father to the emperor again 
with a pound of tow, and asked him to stop 
the mouths of all the rivers that flow into 
the sea ; then she would drain it dry. Here 
upon the emperor ordered the girl herself be 
fore him, and put her the question, " What 
is heard furthest ? " " Please your Majesty," 
she answered, " thunder and lies." The em 
peror then, clutching his beard, turned to his 
assembled counsellors, and said, " Guess how 
much my beard is worth." One said so much, 
another so much. But the girl said, " Jfray, 
the emperor's beard is worth three rains in 
summer." The emperor took her to wife. 

With these traditional tales we may put the 
story of wise Petronelle and Alphonso, king 
of Spain, told after a chronicle, with his usual 
prolixity, by Gower, Confessio Amantis, Pauli, 
I, 145 ff . The king valued himself highly for 
his wit, and was envious of a knight who hither 
to had answered all his questions. Determined 
to confound his humbler rival, he devised 
three which he thought unanswerable, sent 
for the knight, and gave him a fortnight to 
consider his replies, which failing, he would 



lose his goods and head. The knight can 
make nothing of these questions, which are, 
What is that which needs help least and gets 
most ? What is worth most and costs least ? 
What costs most and is worth least ? The 
girl, who is but fourteen years old, observing 
her father's heavy cheer, asks him the reason, 
and obtains his permission to go to court with 
him and answer the questions. He was to say 
to the king that he had deputed her to an 
swer, to make trial of her wits. The answer 
to the first question is the earth, and agrees 
in the details with the solution of the query, 
What is fatter than fat ? in the Tyrolese and 
the Hanoverian tale. Humility is the answer 
to the second, and pride the third answer. 
The king admires the young maid, and says 
he would marry her if her father were noble ; 
but she may ask a boon. She begs for her 
father an earldom which had lately escheated; 
and, this granted, she reminds the king of 
what he had said ; her father is now noble. 
The king marries her. 

In all these seven tales a daughter gets her 
father out of trouble by the exercise of a su 
perior understanding, and marries an emperor, 
a king, or at least far above her station. The 
Grimms' story has the feature, not found in 
the others, that the father had been thrown 
into prison. Still another variety of these 
stories, inferior, but preserving essential traits, 
is given by Schleicher, Litauische Marchen, 
p. 3, ' Vom schlauen Madchen.' 

A Turkish tale from South Siberia will 
take us a step further, ' Die beiden Fiirsten,' 
Radloff, Proben der Volkslitteratur der tiirk- 
ischen Stamme Siid-Sibiriens, I, 197. A 
prince had a feeble-minded son, for whom he 
wished to get a wife. He found a girl gath 
ering fire-wood with others, and, on asking her 
questions, had reason to be pleased with her 
superior discretion. He sent an ox to the 
girl's father, with a message that on the third 
day he would pay him a visit, and if by that 
time he had not made the ox drop a calf and 
give milk, he would lose his head. The old 
man and his wife fell to weeping. The daugh 
ter bade them be of good cheer, killed the ox, 
and gave it to her parents to eat. On the 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



11 



third day she stationed herself on the road 
by which the prince would come, and was gath 
ering herbs. The prince asked what this was 
for. The girl said, " Because my father is in 
the pangs of child-birth, and I am going to 
spread these herbs under him." " Why," said 
the prince, " it is not the way, that men should 
bear children." " But if a man can't bear 
children," answered the girl, " how can an ox 
have, a calf ? " The prince was pleased, but 
said nothing. He went away, and sent his 
messenger again with three stones in a bag. 
He would come on the third day, and if the 
stones were not then made into boots, the old 
man would lose his head. On the third day 
the prince came, with all his grandees. The 
girl was by the roadside, collecting sand in a 
bag. " What are you going to do with that 
sand?" asked the prince. "Make thread," 
said she. " But who ever made thread out of 
sand ? " " And who ever made boots out of 
stones?" she rejoined. The prince laughed 
in his sleeve, prepared a great wedding, and 
married the girl to his son. Soon after, an 
other prince wrote him a letter, saying, " Do 
not let us be fighting and killing, but let us 
guess riddles. If you guess all mine, I will 
be your subject ; if you fail, I will take all 
your having." They were a whole year at 
the riddles. The other prince " knew three 
words more," and threw ours into a deep dun 
geon. From the depths of this dungeon he 
contrived to send a profoundly enigmatic dis 
patch to his daughter-in-law, who understood 
everything, disguised herself as one of his 
friends, and proposed to the victor to guess 
riddles again. The clever daughter-in-law 



* "Benfey, Das Ausland, 1859, p. 459. The versions re 
ferred to are: Shukasaptati (Seventy Tales of a Parrot), 
47th and 48th night ; the Buddhist Kanjur, Vinaya, in, fol. 
71-83, and Dsanglun, oder der Weise u. der Thor, also from 
the Kanjur, translated by I. J. Schmidt, c. 23 ; the Mongol 
translation of Dsanglun [see Popow, Mongolische Chres- 
tomathie, p. 19, Schiefner's preface to Radloff, i, xi, xii] ; 
an imperfect Singhalese version in Spence Hardy's Manual 
of Buddhism, p. 220, ' The History of Wisakha;" Geschichte 
des weisen Heykar,' 1001 Nacht, Habicht, v. d. Hagen u. 
Schall, xin, 71, ed. 1840; ' Histoire de Sinkarib et de ses 
deux Visirs,' Cabinet des Fees, xxxix, 266 (Persian) ; two 
old Russian translations of Greek tales derived from Arabic, 
Pypin, ' in the Papers of the Second Division of the Im- 



" knew seven words more " than he, took her 
father-in-law out of the tlungeon, threw his 
rival in, and had all the people and property 
of the vanquished prince for her own. 

This Siberian tale links securely those which 
precede it with a remarkable group of stories, 
covering by representatives still extant, or 
which may be shown to have existed, a large 
part of Asia and of Europe. This group in 
cludes, besides a Wallachian and a Magyar tale 
from recent popular tradition, one Sanskrit 
form ; two Tibetan, derived from Sanskrit ; 
one Mongol, from Tibetan ; three Arabic and 
one Persian, which also had their source in 
Sanskrit ; two Middle-Greek, derived from 
Arabic, one of which is lost ; and two old Rus 
sian, from lost Middle-Greek versions.* 

The gist of these narratives is that one king 
propounds tasks to another ; in the earlier ones, 
with the intent to discover whether his brother 
monarch enjoys the aid of such counsellors as 
will make an attack on him dangerous ; in the 
later, with a demand that he shall acquit 
himself satisfactorily, or suffer a forfeit : and 
the king is delivered from a serious strait by 
the sagacity either of a minister (whom he had 
ordered to be put to death, but who was still 
living in prison, or at least seclusion) or of 
the daughter of his minister, who came to her 
father's assistance. Which is the prior of 
these two last inventions it would not be easy 
to say. These tasks are always such as re 
quire ingenuity of one kind or another, whether 
in devising practical experiments, in contriv 
ing subterfuges, in solving riddles, or even in 
constructing compliments.f 

One of the Tibetan tales, which, though 

perial Acad. of Sciences, St Petersburg, 1858, iv, 63-85;' 
Planudes, Life of JEsop ; A. and A. Schott, Walachische 
Msehrchen, p. 125, No 9, ' Vom weissen und vom rothen 
Kaiser; ' Erde'lyi, Nepdalok e's Mondak, in, 262, No 8, ' The 
Little Boy with the Secret and his Little Sword.' To these is 
to be added, ' L'Histoire de Moradbak,' Caylus, Nouveaux 
Contes Orientaux, CEuvres Badines, vn, 289 ff, Cabinet des 
Fees, xxv, 9-406 (from the Turkish ?). In the opinion of 
Benfey, it is in the highest degree likely, though not demon 
strable, that the Indian tale antedates our era by several 
centuries. Ausland, p. 511 ; see also pp. 487, 459. 

t Ingenuity is one of the six transcendental virtues of 
Mahayana Buddhism. Schlagintweit, Buddhism in Tibet, 
p. 36." 




12 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



dating from the beginning of our era, will 
very easily be recognized in the Siberian tra 
dition of this century, is to this effect. King 
Rabssaldschal had a rich minister, who de 
sired a suitable wife for his youngest son. A 
Brahman, his trusty friend, undertook to find 
one. In the course of his search, which ex 
tended through many countries, the Brah 
man saw one day a company of five hundred 
maidens, who were making garlands to offer to 
Buddha. One of these attracted his notice by 
her behavior, and impressed him favorably 
by replies to questions which he put.* The 
Brahman made proposals to her father in 
behalf of the minister's son. These were ac- . 
cepted, and the minister went with a great train 
to fetch home the bride. On the way back his 
life was twice saved by taking her advice, and 
when she was domiciliated, she so surpassed her 
sisters-in-law in housekeeping talents and vir 
tues that everything was put under her direc 
tion. Discord arose between the king of the 
country she had left and Rabssaldschal, under 
whom she was now living. The former wished 
to make trial whether the latter had an able 
and keen-witted minister or not, and sent him 
two mares, dam and filly, exactly alike in ap 
pearance, with the demand that he should dis 
tinguish them. Neither king nor counsellor 
could discern any difference ; but when the 
minister's daughter heard of their difficulty, 
she said, " Nothing is easier. Tie the two to 
gether and put grass before them ; the mother 
will push the best before the foal." This was 
done ; the king decided accordingly, and the 
hostile ambassador owned that he was right. 
Soon after, the foreign prince sent two snakes, 
of the same size and form, and demanded which 
was male, which female. The king and his 
advisers were again in a quandary. The min 
ister resorted to his daughter-in-law. She said, 
" Lay them both on cotton-wool : the female 
will lie quiet, the male not; for it is of the 
feminine nature to love the soft and the com 
fortable, which the masculine cannot tolerate." 

* The resemblance to the Siberian tale is here especially 
striking. 

t The Shukasaptati, in the form in which we have them, 
are supposed to date from about the 6th century, and are 



They followed these directions ; the king gave 
his verdict, the ambassador acquiesced, the 
minister received splendid presents. For a 
final trial the unfriendly king sent a long stick 
of wood, of equal thickness, with no knots or 
marks, and asked which was the under and 
which the upper end. No one could say. The 
minister referred the question to his daughter. 
She answered, " Put the stick into water : 
the root end will sink a little, the upper end 
float." The experiment was tried ; the king 
said to the ambassador, " This is the upper 
end, this the root end," to which he assented, 
and great presents were again given to the 
minister. The adverse monarch was convinced 
that his only safe course was peace and con 
ciliation, and sent his ambassador back once 
more with an offering of precious jewels and 
of amity for the future. This termination was 
highly gratifying to Rabssaldschal, who said 
to his minister, How could you see through all 
these things ? The minister said, It was not 
I, but my clever daughter-in-law. When the 
king learned this, he raised the young woman 
to the rank of his younger sister. 

The wise daughter is not found in the San 
skrit tale,f which also differs from the Bud 
dhist versions in this : that in the Sanskrit the 
minister had become an object of displeasure 
to the king, and in consequence had long been 
lying in prison when the crisis occurred which 
rendered him indispensable, a circumstance 
which is repeated in the tale of The Wise Hey- 
kar (Arabian Nights, Breslau transl., xni, 
73 ff , Cabinet des Fe"es, xxxix, 266 ff) and 
in the Life of JEsop. But The Clever Wench 
reappears in another tale in the same Sanskrit 
collection (with that express title), and gives 
her aid to her father, a priest, who has been 
threatened with banishment by his king if he 
does not clear up a dark matter within five 
days. She may also be recognized in Morad- 
bak, in Von der Hagen's 1001 Tag, vni, 
199 ff, and even in the minister's wife in the 
story of The Wise Heykar. 

regarded as abridgments of longer tales. The Vinaya prob 
ably took a permanent shape as early as the beginning of 
the Christian era. As already remarked, there is scarcely a 
doubt that the Indian story is some centuries older still. 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



13 



The tasks of discriminating dam and filly 
and the root end from the tip end of a stick, 
which occur both in the Tibetan tales and 
the Shukasapfcati, are found again, with un 
important changes, in the Wallachian popular 
story, and the Hungarian, which in general 
resemble the Arabic. Some of those in the 
Arabian tale and in the Life of JEsop are of 
the same nature as the wit-trials in the Servian 
and German popular tales, the story in the 
Gesta Romanorum, and the German and Eng 
lish ballads. The wise Heykar, e. g., is re 
quired to sew together a burst mill-stone. He 
hands the king a pebble, requesting him first 
to make an awl, a file, and scissors out of that. 
The king of Egypt tells JEsop, the king of 
Babylon's champion sage, that when his mares 
hear the stallions neigh in Babylon, they cast 
their foal. JEsop's slaves are told to catch a 
cat, and are set to scourging it before the 
Egyptian public. Great offense is given, on 
account of the sacred character of the animal, 
and complaint is made to the king, who sends 
for JEsop in a rage. ./Esop says his king has 
suffered an injury from this cat, for the night 
before the cat had killed a fine fighting-cock 
of his. " Fie, JEsop ! " says the king of Egypt; 
" how could the cat go from Egypt to Babylon 
in one night ? " " Why not," replies JEsop, 
" as well as mares in Egypt hear the stallions 
neigh in Babylon and cast their foal ? " 

The tales in the Shukasaptati and in the 
Dsanglun represent the object of the sending 
of the tasks to be to ascertain whether the 
king retains the capable minister through 
whom he has acquired supremacy. According 
to the Arabian tale, and those derived from it, 
tribute is to be paid by the king whose rid 
dles are guessed, or by him who fails to guess. 

* Amasis in return (8) puts some of the questions which 
we are apt to think of as peculiarly mediaeval : What is old 
est ? What is most beautiful, biggest, wisest, strongest ? etc. 
Two of these we have had in Zingerle's story. They are an 
swered in a commonplace way by the ^Ethiop, with more re 
finement by Thales. Seven similar questions were propounded 
by David to his sons, to determine who was worthiest to 
succeed him, and answered by Solomon, according to an 
Arabian writer of the 14th century : Rosenol, i, 167. Ama 
sis also sent a victim to Bias (2), and asked him to cut out 
the best and worst of the flesh. Bias cut out the tongue. 
Here the two anticipate the Anglo-Saxon Salomon and Sat- 



This form of story, though it is a secondary 
one, is yet by no means late, as is shown by 
the anecdote in Plutarch, Septem Sapientum 
Convivium (6), itself probably a fragment of 
such a story, in which the king of the JEthiops 
gives a task to Amasis, king of Egypt, with a 
stake of many towns and cities. This task is 
the favorite one of draining [drinking] all the 
water in the sea, which we have had in the 
Servian tale (it also is in the Life of ./Esop), 
and Bias gives the customary advice for deal 
ing with it.* 

From the number of these wise virgins 
should not be excluded the king's daughter 
in the Gesta Romanorum who guesses rightly 
among the riddles of the three caskets and 
marries the emperor's son, though Bassanio 
has extinguished her just fame : Madden's 
Old English Versions, p. 238, No 66 ; Collier, 
Shakspere's Library, n, 102. 

The first three or four stanzas of A-B form 
the beginning of ' Lady Isabel and the Elf- 
Knight,' and are especially appropriate to that 
ballad, but not to this. The two last stanzas of 
A, B, make no kind of sense here, and these 
at least, probably the opening verses as well, 
must belong to some other and lost ballad. 
An elf setting tasks, or even giving riddles, 
is unknown, I believe, in Northern tradition, 
and in no form of this story, except the Eng 
lish, is a preternatural personage of any kind 
the hero. Still it is better to urge nothing more 
than that the elf is an intruder in this par 
ticular ballad, for riddle-craft is practised by 
a variety of preternatural beings : notoriously 
by Odin, Thor, the giant VafyruSnir, and the 
dwarf Alwiss in the Edda, and again by a 
German " berggeist " (Ey, Harzmarchenbuch, 
p. 64, ' Die verwiinschte Prinzessin'), a Greek 

urn : " Tell me what is best and worst among men." " I tell 
thee word is best and worst:" Kemble, p. 188, No 37; 
Adrian and Ritheus, p. 204, No 43 ; and Bedse Collectanea, 
p. 326. This is made into a very long story in the Life 
of JEaop, 11. See other examples in Knust, Mittheilungen 
aus dem Eskurial, p. 326 f, note b, and Nachtrag, p. 647 ; 
Oesterley's Kirchhof, v, 94, note to 3, 129; and Lands- 
berger, Die Fabeln des Sophos, ex, ff. We may add that 
Plutarch's question, Which was first, the bird or the 
egg ? (Quffist. Conviv. 1. 2, q. 3), comes up again in The De- 
maundes Joyous, No 41, Kemble's Salomon and Saturn, 
p. 290. 



14 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



dragon (Hahn, Griechische u. Albanesische 
Marchen, n, 210), the Russian rusalka, the 
Servian vila,* the Indian rakshas. For exam 
ple : a rusalka (water-nymph) pursues a pretty 
girl, and says, I will give you three riddles : if 
you guess them, I will let you go home to your 
father ; if you do not, I shall take you with 
me. What grows without a root ? What runs 
without any object ? What blooms without 
any flower ? She answers, Stones grow with 
out a root ; water runs without any object ; the 
fern blooms without any flower. These an 
swers seem satisfactory, as riddles go, but the 
ballad concludes (with an injustice due to cor 
ruption?), "The girl did not guess the rid 
dles: the rusalka tickled her to death." (Woj- 
cicki, Piesni, I, 205.) A rakshas (ogre) says 
he will spare a man's life if he can answer four 
questions, and shall devour him if he cannot. 
What is cruel ? What is most to the advan 
tage of a householder ? What is love ? What 
best accomplishes difficult things ? These ques 
tions the man answers, and confirms his an 
swers by tales, and gains the rakshas' "good 
will. (Jacob, Hindoo Tales, or the Adven 
tures of Ten Princes, a translation of the San 
skrit Dasakumaracharitam, p. 260 ff.) 

The auld man in J is simply the " unco 
knicht " of 1 C, D, over again. He has clearly 
displaced the elf-knight, for the elf's attributes 
of hill-haunting and magical music remain, 
only they have been transferred to the lady. 
That the devil should supplant the knight, 
unco or familiar, is natural enough. He may 
come in as the substitute of the elfin knight 
because the devil is the regular successor to any 
heathen sprite, or as the embodiment of craft 



and duplicity, and to give us the pleasure of 
seeing him outwitted. We find the devil giv 
ing riddles, as they are called (tasks), in the 
Grimms' K. u. H. marchen, No 125 (see also 
the note in vol. in) ; Prohle's K. u. V. mar 
chen, No 19 ; Vernaleken, Oesterreichische K. 
u. H. marchen, No 37. He also appears as 
a riddle-monger in one of the best stories in 
the Golden Legend. A bishop, who was es 
pecially devoted to St Andrew, was tempted 
by Satan under the semblance of a beautiful 
woman, and was all but lost, when a loud 
knocking was heard at the door. A pilgrim 
demanded admittance. The lady, being asked 
her pleasure about this, recommended that 
three questions should be put to the stranger, 
to show whether he were fit to appear in such 
presence. Two questions having been an 
swered unexceptionably, the fiend proposed a 
third, which was meant to be a clincher : How 
far is it from earth to heaven ? " Go back to 
him that sent you," said the pilgrim (none oth 
er than St Andrew) to the messenger, " and 
say that he himself knows best, for he meas 
ured the distance when he fell." Antiquus hos- 
tis de medio evanuit. Much the same is re 
lated in the legend of St Bartholomew, and, 
in a Slovenian ballad, of St Ulrich, who inter 
poses to save the Pope from espousing Satan 
in disguise. f 

J, K, L, have completely lost sight of the 
original story. 

Translated, after A, C, and D, in Grundt- 
vig's Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 251 ; 
R. Warrens, Schottische Lieder der Vorzeit, p. 
8 ; Knortz, Lieder u. Romanzen Alt-Englands, 
No 54. 



* Afanasief, Poetic Views of the Slavonians about Na 
ture, i, 25. The poludnitsa seems to belong to the same 
class : Afanasief, HI, 76 ; Kalston, Songs of the Russian 
People, p. 147. 

t The legend of St Andrew in Legenda Aurea, Grasse, 
cap. n, 9, p. 19 ff; also in the Fornsvenskt Legendarium, 
I, 143 if ; Zambrini, Leggende Inedite, u, 94 ff; Pitre, 
Canti pop. Siciliani, n, 232 ff: that of St Bartholomew, 
Grasse, p. 545, cap. cxxm, 5, and in a German Passional, 



Mone's Anzeiger, 1839, vni, col. 319 f : that of St Ulrich in 
Achazel and Korytko, i, 76, ' Sve'ti Ureh,' translated by A. 
Griin, Volkslieder aus Krain, p. 136 ff. The third question 
and answer are in all the same. St Serf also has the credit 
of having baffled the devil by answering occult questions in 
divinity : Wintown's Scottish Chronicle, i, 131, v, 1238 ff, 
first pointed out by Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. Ixxiv, who 
besides cites the legend of St Andrew. 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



15 



A 9 Thou must shape it knife-and-sheerlesse, 

A broadside in black letter, " printed, I suppose/' says And also sue it; needle-threedlesse.' 

Pinkerton, " about 1670," bound up with five other pieces at 

the end of a copy of Blind Harry's ' Wallace,' Edin. 1673, in 10 ' If that piece of courtesie I do to thee, 
the Pepysian Library. Another thou must do to me. 

MY plaid awa, my plaid awa, 
And ore the hill and far awa, 
And far awa to Norrowa, 
My plaid shall not be hlown awa. 



1 The elphin knight sits on yon hill, 

Ba, ba, ba, lilli ba 

He blaws his horn both lowd and shril. 
The wind hath blown my plaid awa 

2 He blowes it east, he blowes it west, 
He blowes it where he lyketh best. 

3 ' I wish that horn were in my kist, 
Yea, and the knight in my armes two.' 

4 She had no sooner these words said, 
When that the knight came to her bed. 

5 ' Thou art over young a maid,' quoth he, 
' Married with me thou il wouldst be.' 

6 ' I have a sister younger than I, 
And she was married yesterday.' 

7 ' Married with me if thou wouldst be, 
A courtesie 'thou must do to me. 

8 ' For thou must shape a sark to me, 
Without any cut or heme,' quoth he. 



11 ' I have an aiker of good ley-land, 
Which lyeth low by yon sea-strand. 

12 ' For thou must eare it with thy horn, 
So thou must sow it with thy corn. 

13 ' And bigg a cart of stone and lyme, 
Robin Redbreast he must trail it hame. 

14 ' Thou must barn it in a mouse-holl, 
And thrash it into thy shoes soil. 

15 ' And thou must winnow it in thy looff, 
And also seek it in thy glove. 

16 ' For thou must bring it over the sea, 
And thou must bring it dry home to me. 

17 ' When thou hast gotten thy turns well done, 
Then come to me and get thy sark then.' 

18 ' I '1 not quite my plaid for my life ; 
It haps my seven bairns and my wife.' 

The wind shall not blow my plaid awa 

19 ' My maidenhead I '1 then keep still, 
Let the elphin knight do what he will/ 

The wind 's not blown my plaid awa 



B 



A Collection of Curious Old Ballads, etc., p. 3. Partly 
from an old copy in black letter, and partly from the recita 
tion of an old lady. 

MY plaid awa, my plaid awa, 
And owre the hills and far awa, 
And far awa to Norrowa, 
My plaid shall not be blawn awa. 

1 The Elphin knight sits on yon hill, 

Ba, ba, ba, lillie ba 

He blaws his horn baith loud and shrill. 
The wind hath blawn my plaid awa 



2 He blaws it east, he blaws it west, 
He blaws it where he liketh best. 

3 ' I wish that horn were in my kist, 
Yea, and the knight in my arms niest.' 

4 She had no sooner these words said, 
Than the knight came to her bed. 

5 ' Thou art oer young a maid,' quoth he, 

' Married with me that thou wouldst be.' 

6 ' I have a sister, younger than I, 
And she was married yesterday.' 



16 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



7 ' Married with me if thou wouldst be, 
A curtisie thou must do to me. 

8 ' It 's ye maun mak a sark to me, 
Without any cut or seam,' quoth he. 

9 ' And ye maun shape it, knife-, sheerless, 
And also sew it needle-, threedless.' 

10 ' If that piece of courtisie I do to thee, 
Another thou must do to me. 

11 ' I have an aiker of good ley land, 
Which lyeth low by yon sea strand. 

12 ' It 's ye maun till 't wi your touting horn, 
And ye maun saw 't wi the pepper corn. 

13 ' And ye maun harrow 't wi a thorn, 
And hae your wark done ere the morn. 



14 ' And ye maun shear it wi your knife, 
And no lose a stack o 't for your life. 

15 ' And ye maun stack it in a mouse hole, 
And ye maun thrash it in your shoe sole. 

16 ' And ye maun dight it in your loof, 
And also sack it in your glove. 

17 ' And thou must bring it over the sea, 
Fair and clean and dry to me. 

18 ' And when that ye have done your wark, 
Come back to me, and ye '11 get your sark.' 

19 ' I '11 not quite my plaid for my life ; 
It haps my seven bairns and my wife.' 

20 ' My maidenhead I '11 then keep still, 
Let the elphin knight do what he will. 







Ktnloch's A. S. Ballads, p. 145. From the recitation of 
M. Kinnear, a native of Mearnsshire, 23 Aug., 1826. 

1 THERE stands a knicht at the tap o yon hill, 

Oure the hills and far awa 
He has blawn his horn loud and shill. 
The cauld wind 's blawn my plaid awa 

2 ' If I had the horn that I hear blawn, 
And the knicht that blaws that horn ! ' 

3 She had na sooner thae words said, 
Than the elfin knicht cam to her side. 

4 ' Are na ye cure young a may 
Wi onie young man doun to lie ? ' 

5 ' I have a sister younger than I, 
And she was married yesterday.' 

6 ' Married wi me ye sail neer be nane 
Till ye mak to me a sark but a seam. 

7 ' And ye maun shape it knife-, sheer-less, 
And ye maun sew it needle-, threed-less. 

8 ' And ye maun wash it in yon cistran, 
Whare water never stood nor ran. 



9 ' And ye maun dry it on yon hawthorn, 
Whare the sun neer shon sin man was born.' 

10 ' Gin that courtesie I do for thee, 
Ye maun do this for me. 

11 ' Ye '11 get an acre o gude red-land 
Atween the saut sea and the sand. 

12 ' I want that land for to be corn, 
And ye maun aer it wi your horn. 

13 ' And ye maun saw it without a seed, 
And ye maun harrow it wi a threed. 

14 ' And ye maun shear it wi your knife, 
And na tyne a pickle o't for your life. 

15 ' And ye maun moue it in yon mouse-hole 
And ye maun thrash it in your shoe-sole. 

16 ' And ye maun fan it wi your luves, 
And ye maun sack it in your gloves. 

17 ' And ye maun bring it oure the sea, 
Fair and clean and dry to me. 

18 ' And whan that your wark is weill deen, 
Yese get your sark without a seam.' 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



17 



Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, 11, 296. 

1 THE Elfin knight stands on yon hill, 

Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw 
Blawing his horn loud and shrill. 

And the wind has blawin my plaid awa 

2 ' If I had yon horn in my kist, 

And the bonny laddie here that I luve best! 

3 ' I hae a sister eleven years auld, 

And she to the young men's bed has made 
braid. 

4 ' And I mysell am only nine, 

And oh ! sae fain, luve, as I woud be thine.' 

5 ' Ye maim make me a fine Holland sark, 
Without ony stitching or needle wark. 

6 ' And ye maun wash it in yonder well, 
Where the dew never wat, nor the rain ever 

fell. 

7 ' And ye maun dry it upon a thorn 
That never budded sin Adam was born.' 



8 ' Now sin ye 've askd some things o me, 
It 's right I ask as mony o thee. 

9 ' My father he askd me an acre o land, 
Between the saut sea and the strand. 

10 ' And ye maun plow 't wi your blawing horn, 
And ye maun saw 't wi pepper corn. 

11 ' And ye maun harrow 't wi a single tyne, 
And ye maun shear 't wi a sheep's shank bane. 

12 ' And ye maun big it in the sea, 
And bring the stathle dry to me. 

13 ' And ye maun barn 't in yon mouse hole, 
And ye maun thrash 't in your shee sole. 

14 ' And ye maun sack it in your gluve, 
And ye maun winno 't in your leuve. 

15 ' And ye maun dry 't without candle or coal, 
And grind it without quirn or mill. ,_ 

16 * Ye '11 big a cart o stane and lime, 
Gar Kobin Redbreast trail it syne. 

17 ' When ye 've dune, and finishd your wark, 
Ye '11 come to me, luve, and get your sark.' 



E 



MotherwelFs MS., p. 492. 

1 THE Elfin Knight sits on yon hill, 

Ba ba lilly ba 
Blowing his horn loud and shill. 

And the wind has blawn my plaid awa 



2 ' I love to hear that horn blaw ; 

I wish him [here] owns it and a'.' 

3 That word it was no sooner spoken, 
Than Elfin Knight in her arms was gotten. 

4 ' You must mak to me a sark, 
Without threed, sheers or needle wark.' 



Kinloch MSS, i, 75. From Mary Barr. 

1 ' DID ye ever travel twixt Berwick and Lyne ? 

Sober and grave grows merry in time 
There ye '11 meet wi a handsome young dame, 
Ance she was a true love o mine. 

2 ' Tell her to sew me a holland sark, 
And sew it all without needle-wark : 

And syne we '11 be true lovers again. 



3 ' Tell her to wash it at yon spring-well, 
Where neer wind blew, nor yet rain fell. 

4 ' Tell her to dry it on yon hawthorn, 
That neer sprang up sin Adam was born. 

5 ' Tell her to iron it wi a hot iron, 
And plait it a' in ae plait round.' 

6 ' Did ye ever travel twixt Berwick and Lyne ? 
There ye '11 meet wi a handsome young man, 

Ance he was a true lover o mine. 



18 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



7 ' Tell him to plough me an acre o land 
Betwixt the sea-side bot and the sea-sand, 

And syne we '11 be true lovers again. 

8 ' Tell him to saw it wi ae peck o corn, 
And harrow it a' wi ae harrow tine. 

9 ' Tell him to shear it wi ae hook-tooth, 
And carry it hame just into his loof. 



10 * Tell him to stack it in yon mouse-hole, 
And thrash it a' just wi his shoe-sole. 

11 ' Tell him to dry it on yon ribless kiln, 
And grind it a' in yon waterless miln. 

12 Tell this young man, whan he 's finished his 

wark, 
He may come to me, and hese get his sark.' 



G 



Gammer Gurton's Garland, p. 3, ed. 1810. 

1 ' CAN you make me a cambrick shirt, 

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme 
Without any seam or needle work ? 
And you shall be a true lover of mine 

2 ' Can you wash it in yonder well, 

Where never sprung water nor rain ever fell ? 

3 ' Can you dry it on yonder thorn, 

Which never bore blossom since Adam was 
born? 



4 ' Now you have askd me questions three, 
I hope you '11 answer as many for me. 

5 ' Can you find me an acre of land 
Between the salt water and the sea sand ? 

6 ' Can you plow it with a ram's horn, 

And sow it all over with one pepper corn ? 

I 

7 ' Can you reap it with a sickle of leather, 
And bind it up with a peacock's feather ? 

8 ' When you have done, and finishd your work, 
Then come to me for your cambrick shirt.' 



MotherwelPs MS., p. 92. 

1 ' COME, pretty Nelly, and sit thee down by me, 

Every rose grows merry wi thyme 
And I will ask thee questions three, 

And then thou wilt be a true lover of mine. 

2 ' Thou must buy me a cambrick smock 
Without any stitch of needlework. 

3 ' Thou must wash it in yonder strand, 
Where wood never grew and water neer ran. 

4 ' Thou must dry it on yonder thorn, 

Where the sun never shined on since Adam 
was formed.' 



5 ' Thou hast asked me questions three ; 
Sit down till I ask as many of thee. 

6 ( Thou must buy me an acre of land 
Betwixt the salt water, love, and the sea-sand. 

7 ' Thou must plow it wi a ram's horn, 
And sow it all over wi one pile o corn. 

8 ' Thou must shear it wi a strap o leather, 
And tie it all up in a peacock feather. 

9 ' Thou must stack it in the sea, 

And bring the stale o 't hame dry to me. 

10 ' When my love 's done, and finished his work, 
Let him come to me for his cambric smock.' 



Motherwell's MS., p. 103. From the recitation of John 
McWhinnie, collier, Newtown Green, Ayr. 

1 A LADY wonned on yonder hill, 
Hee ba and balou ba 



And she had musick at her will. 

And the wind has blown my plaid awa 

2 Up and cam an auld, auld man, 
Wi his blue bonnet in his han. 



2. THE ELFIN KNIGHT 



19 



3 ' I will ask ye questions three ; 
Resolve them, or ye '11 gang wi me. 

4 ' Ye maun mak to me a sark, 

It maun be free o woman's wark. 

5 ' Ye maun shape it knife- sheerless, 
And ye maun sew it needle- threedless. 

6 ' Ye maun wash it in yonder well, 
Whare rain nor dew has ever fell. 

7 ' Ye maun dry it on yonder thorn, 
Where leaf neer grew since man was born.' 

8 ' I will ask ye questions three ; 
Resolve them, or ye '11 neer get me. 

9 ' I hae a rig o bonnie land 
Atween the saut sea and the sand. 



10 ' Ye maun plow it wi ae horse bane, 
And harrow it wi ae harrow pin. 

11 ' Ye maun shear 't wi a whang o leather, 
And ye maun bind 't bot strap or tether. 

12 ' Ye maun stack it in the sea, 

And bring the stale hame dry to me. 

13 ' Ye maun mak a cart o stane, 

And yoke the wren and bring it hame. 

14 ' Ye maun thresh 't atween your lufes, 
And ye maun sack 't atween your thies.' 

15 ' My curse on those wha learned thee ; 
This night I weend ye 'd gane wi me.' 



Communicated by Eev. F. D. Huntington, Bishop of 
Western New York, as sung to him by his father in 1828, at 
Hadley, Mass. ; derived from a rough, roystering " character " 
in the town. 

1 Now you are a-going to Cape Ann, 

Follomingkathellomeday 
Remember me to the self-same man. 

Ummatiddle, ummatiddle, ummatallyho, tal- 
lyho, follomingkathellomeday 

2 Tell him to buy me an acre of land 
Between the salt-water and the sea-sand. 



3 Tell him to plough it with a ram's horn, 
Tell him to sow it with one peppercorn. 

4 Tell him to reap it with a penknife, 
And tell him to cart it with two mice. 

5 Tell him to cart it to yonder new barn 
That never was built since Adam was born. 

6 Tell him to thrash it with a goose quill, 
Tell him to fan it with an egg-shell. 

7 Tell the fool, when he 's done his work, 
To come to me, and he shall have his shirt. 



Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of England, 6th ed., p. 109, 
No 171. 

1 MY father left me three acres of land, 

Sing ivy, sing ivy 

My father left me three acres of land. 
Sing holly, go whistle and ivy 

2 I ploughed it with a ram's horn, 

And sowed it all over with one pepper corn. 



3 I harrowed it with a bramble bush, 
And reaped it with my little penknife. 

4 I got the mice to carry it to the barn, 
And thrashed it with a goose's quill. 

5 I got the cat to carry it to the mill ; 

The miller he swore he would have her paw, 
And the cat she swore she would scratch his 
face. 



20 



3. THE PAUSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD 



Notes and Queries, 1st S., vii, 8. * Signed D. 

1 MY father gave me an acre of land, 

Sing ivy, sing ivy 

My father gave me an acre of land. 
Sing green bush, holly and ivy 

2 I ploughd it with a ram's horn. 



3 I harrowd it with a bramble. 

4 I sowd it with a pepper corn. 

5 I reapd it with my penknife. 

6 I carried it to the mill upon the cat's back. 

* 
# # * * 

7 I made a cake for all the king's men. 



A. The verses here prefixed to the ballad are ap 
pended to the last stanza in the broadside. 
For Norrowa, v. 3, Pinkerton has To-morrow. 
9 1 , needle and sheerlesse. 

B. < A Proper New Ballad entitled The Wind hath 

blawn my Plaid awa, or a Discourse between a 
Young Woman and the Elphin Knight. To be 
sung with its own proper tune.' 
" This ballad is printed partly from an old copy 
in black letter, and partly from the recitation 
of an old lady, which appears to be the Scot 
tish version, and is here chiefly adhered to." 
D. 3 2 . hae made. 



9 1 . askd should perhaps be left, or gave, as in 

K 1 , L 1 . 
E. Burden 2 , in MS., 1, blown her ; 2, 3, blawn 

her; 4, blawn my. 

2 1 , blow ; 2 2 , and a. 
H. I 1 . He speaks, in the margin of MS. 

Burden 1 , time in margin. 

5 1 . Maid speaks, in margin. 
I. Not divided regularly into stanzas in the MS. 

4 2 . needlewark in margin. 

10 1 . shin ? in margin. 
L. After 6 : " Then follows some more which I 

forget, but I think it ends thus." 



THE FAUSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD 



A. ' The Fause Knight upon the Road,' Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. Ixxiv. 



B. The False Knight,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ap 
pendix, Musick, p. xxiv. 



THIS singular ballad is known only through 
Motherwell. The opening stanza of a second 
version is given by the editor of the music, Mr. 
Blaikie, in the Appendix to the Minstrelsy. 
The idea at the bottom of the piece is that the 
devil will carry off the wee boy if he can non 
plus him. So, in certain humorous stories, 
a fool wins a princess by dumfounding her : 
e. g., Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery 
Tales, p. 32 ; Von der Hagen's Gesammtaben- 
teuer, No 63, m, 179; Asbj0rnsen og Moe, 
Norske Folkeeventyr, No 4. But here the 



boy always gets the last word. (See further 
on, under ' Captain Wedderburn's Courtship.') 
An extremely curious Swedish ballad of the 
same description, from the Lappfiord, Finland, 
with the substitution of an old crone, possibly 
a witch, and clearly no better than one of the 
wicked, for the false knight, is given by Oskar 
Rancken in Nagra Prof af Folksang och Saga 
i det svenska Osterbotten, p. 25, No 10. It is 
a point in both that the replicant is a wee 
boy (gossen, som liten var). 



3. THE FAUSE KNIGHT UPON THE ROAD 



21 



1 ' Why are you driving over my field ? ' said the 

carlin : 

' Because the way lies over it,' answered the boy, 
who was a little fellow. 

2 ' I will cut [hew] your traces,' said etc. : 

' Yes, you hew, and I '11 build,' answered etc. 

3 ' I wish you were in the wild wood : ' 
' Yes, you in, and I outside.' 

4 ' I wish you were in the highest tree-top : ' 

' Yes, you up in the top, and I at the roots.' 

5 ' I wish you were in the wild sea : ' 

' Yes, you in the sea, and I in a boat.' 

6 ' I '11 bore a hole in your boat : ' 
' Yes, you bore, and I '11 plug.' 

7 ' I wish you were in hell : ' 

' Yes, you in, and I outside.' 

8 ' I wish you were in heaven : ' 
' Yes, I in, and you outside.' 

Chambers, in his Popular Rhymes of Scot 
land, p. 66 of the new edition, gives, without 
a word of explanation, a piece, ' Harpkin,' 
which seems to have been of the same char 
acter, but now sounds only like a " fly ting." * 
The first stanza would lead us to expect that 
Harpkin is to be a form of the Elfin Knight 
of the preceding ballad, but Fin is seen to be 
the uncanny one of the two by the light of the 
other ballads. Finn (Fin) is an ancestor of 
Woden, a dwarf in Voluspa 16 (19), and also 
a trold (otherwise a giant), who is induced by 
a saint to build a church : Thiele, Danske 
Folkesagn, I, 45, Grimm, Mythologie, p. 455. 
The name is therefore diabolic by many ante 
cedents. 

HARPKIN. 

1 HARPKEST gaed up to the hill, 
And blew his horn loud and shrill, 
And by came Fin. 

* At the last moment I come upon this : " The only safe 
guard against the malice of witches is ' to flight wi dem,' 
that is, draw them into a controversy and scold them round 
ly : " (Mrs Saxby, in an interesting contribution of folk-lore 
from Unst, Shetland, in The Leisure Hour, for March 27, 



2 ' What for stand you there ? ' quo Fin : 
' Spying the weather,' quo Harpkin. 

3 ' What for had you your staff on your shou- 

ther ? ' quo Fin : 
1 To haud the cauld frae me,' quo Harpkin. 

4 ' Little cauld will that haud frae you,' quo Fin : 
' As little will it win through me,' quo Harp- 
kin. 

5 ' I came by your door,' quo Fin : 

' It lay in your road,' quo Harpkin. 

6 ' Your dog barkit at me,' quo Fin : 

' It 's his use and custom,' quo Harpkin. 

7 ' I flang a stane at him,' quo Fin : 

' I 'd rather it had been a bane,' quo Harpkin. 

8 ' Your wife 's lichter,' quo Fin : 

1 She '11 clim the brae the brichter,' quo Harp- 
kin. 

9 ' Of a braw lad bairn,' quo Fin : 

' There '11 be the mair men for the king's wars,' 
quo Harpkin. 

10 ' There 's a strae at your beard,' quo Fin : 

' I 'd rather it had been a thrave,' quo Harp- 
kin. 

11 ' The ox is eating at it,' quo Fin : 

1 If the ox were i the water,' quo Harpkin. 

12 ' And the water were frozen,' quo Fin : 

' And the smith and his fore-hammer at it,' quo 
Harpkin. 

13 ' And the smith were dead,' quo Fin : 

' And another in his stead,' quo Harpkin. 

14 ' Gift, gaff,' quo Fin : 

' Your mou 's fou o draff,' quo Harpkin. 

The peit (peat) in st. 3, below, as I am in 
formed by Dr Davidson, is the wee boy's con 
tribution to the school firing. 

1880, p. 199.) This view, which has apparently affected 
' Harpkin,' is clearly a modern misunderstanding. Let no 
one trust to scolding for foiling a witch, unless he " knows 
more words." . 



22 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. Ixxiv. From 
Galloway. 

1 ' WHARE are ye gaun ? ' 

Quo the fause knicht upon the road : 
' I 'm gaun to the scule,' 

Quo the wee hoy, and still he stude. 

2 ' What is that upon your hack ? ' quo etc. 
' Atweel it is my bukes,' quo etc. 

3 ' What 's that ye 've got in your arm ? ' 
' Atweel it is my peit.' 

4 ' Wha 's aucht they sheep ? ' 

' They are mine and my mither's.' 



5 ' How monie o them are mine ? ' 
' A' they that hae hlue tails.' 

6 ' I wiss ye were on yon tree : ' 
'And a gude ladder under me.' 

7 ' And the ladder for to break : ' 
4 And you for to fa down.' 

8 ' I wiss ye were in yon sie : ' 

' And a gude bottom under me.' 

9 ' And the bottom for to break : ' 
' And ye to be drowned/ 



B 



Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xxiv, No xxxii. 

' O WHAKE are ye gaun ? ' quo the false knight, 
And false, false was his rede : 



I 'm gaun to the scule,' says the pretty little 

boy, 
And still, still he stude. 



LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 

A. a. ' The Gowans sae gay,' Buchan's Ballads of the D. a. ' May Collin,' Sharpe's Ballad Book, No 1 7, p. 
North of Scotland, i, 22. b. ' Aye as the Gowans 45. b. ' Fause Sir John and May Colvin,' Buchan, 
grow gay,' Motherwell's MS., p. 563. B. N. S., n, 45. c. 'May Collean,' Motherwell's 

Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xxi. 

B. ' The Water o Wearie's Well.' a. Buchan's MSS, 

n, fol. 80. b. Buchan's B. N. S., n, 201. c. Moth- E. ' The Outlandish Knight,' Dixon, Ancient Poems, 

erwell's MS., p. 561. d. 'Wearie's Wells,' Harris Ballads, etc., p. 74 = Bell, Ancient Poems, Ballads, 

MS., No 19. etc., p. 61. 

C. a. 'May Colven,' Herd's MSS, i, 166. b. 'May F. ' The False Knight Outwitted,' Roxburgh Ballads, 
Colvin,' Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, i, 93. c. ' May British Museum, in, 449. 

Colvin, or, False Sir John,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 
p. 67. 



OF all ballads this has perhaps obtained the Scandinavians, preserve it, in a full and evi- 

widest circulation. It is nearly as well known den tly ancient form, even in the tradition of 

to the southern as to the northern nations of this generation. Among the Latin nations it 

Europe. It has an extraordinary currency in has, indeed, shrunk to very meagre proportions, 

Poland. The Germans, Low and High, and the and though the best English forms are not 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



23 



without ancient and distinctive marks, most of 
these have been eliminated, and the better 
ballads are very brief. 

A has but thirteen two-line stanzas. An 
elf-knight, by blowing his horn, inspires Lady 
Isabel with love-longing. He appears on her 
first breathing a wish for him, and induces 
her to ride with him to the greenwood.* Ar 
rived at the wood, he bids her alight, for 
she is come to the place where she is to die. 
He had slain seven kings' daughters there, 
and she should be the eighth. She persuades 
him to sit down, with his head on her knee, 
lulls him asleep with a charm, binds him with 
his own sword-belt, and stabs him with his 
own dagger, saying, If seven kings' daugh 
ters you have slain, lie here a husband to them 
all. 

B, in fourteen four-line stanzas, begins unin 
telligibly with a bird coming out of a bush for 
water, and a king's daughter sighing, " Wae 's 
this heart o mine." A personage not charac 
terized, but evidently of the same nature as the 
elf-knight in A, lulls everybody but this king's 
daughter asleep with his harp,f then mounts 
her behind him, and rides to a piece of water 
called Wearie's Well. He makes her wade 
in up to her chin ; then tells her that he has 
drowned seven kings' daughters here, and she 

* ' The Elfin Knight ' begins very much like A, but per 
haps has borrowed its opening stanzas from this ballad. See 
page 13. 

t The second stanza, which describes the harping, occurs 
again in ' Glenkindie ' (st. 6). 

J Perhaps the change from wood, A, to water, B-F, was 
made under the influence of some Merman ballad, or by ad 
mixture with such a ballad ; e. g., ' N0kkens Svig,' Grundt- 
vig, No 39. In this (A) the nix entices a king's daughter 
away from a dance, sets her on his horse, and rides with her 
over the heath to a wild water, into which she sinks. It is 
also quite among possibilities that there was originally an 
English nix ballad, in which the king's daughter saved her 
self by some artifice, not, of course, such as is employed in B- 
P, but like that in A, or otherwise. Maid Heiemo, in Land- 
stad, No 39, kills a nix with " one of her small knives." Had 
she put him to sleep with a charm, and killed him with his 
own knife, as Lady Isabel does, there would have been noth 
ing to shock credibility in the story. 

Aytoun, Ballads of Scotland, i, 219, 2d ed., hastily pro 
nounces Buchan's ballad not authentic, " being made up of 
stanzas borrowed from versions of ' Burd Helen ' [' Child 
Waters']." There are, indeed, three successive steps into the 
water in both ballads, but Aytoun should have bethought 
himself how natural and how common it is for a passage to 



is to be the eighth. She asks him for one kiss 
before she dies, and, as he bends over to give 
it, pitches him from his saddle into the water, 
with the words, Since ye have drowned seven 
here, I'll make you bridegroom to them all.J 

C was first published by David Herd, in the 
second edition of his Scottish Songs, 1776, and 
afterwards by Motherwell, " collated " with a 
copy obtained from recitation. D, E, P are 
all broadside or stall copies, and in broadside 
style. C, D, E, F have nearly the same story. 
False Sir John, a knight from the south coun 
try [west country, north lands], entices May 
Colven, C, D [a king's daughter, C 16, E 16 ; 
a knight's daughter, Polly, F 4, 9], to ride off 
with him, employing, in D, a charm which he 
has stuck in her sleeve. At the knight's sug 
gestion, E, F, she takes a good sum of money 
with her, D, E, F. They come to a lonely 
rocky place by the sea [river-side, F J , and the 
knight bids her alight : he has drowned seven 
ladies here [eight D, six E, FJ, and she shall 
be the next. But first she is to strip off her 
rich clothes, as being too good to rot in the 
sea. She begs him to avert his eyes, for de 
cency's sake, and, getting behind him, throws 
him into the water. In F he is absurdly sent 
for a sickle, to crop the nettles on the river 
brim, and is pushed in while thus occupied. 

slip from one ballad into another, when the circumstances of 
the story are the same ; and in some such cases no one can 
say where the verses that are common originally belonged. 
Here, indeed, as Grundtvig remarks, iv, 7, note*, it may 
well be that the verses in question belonged originally to 
'Burd Helen,' and were adopted (but in the processes of tra 
dition) into ' The Water of Wearie's Well ; ' for it must be 
admitted that the transaction in the water is not a happy 
conception in the latter, since it shocks probability that the 
woman should be able to swim ashore, and the man not. 

" This ballad appears modern, from a great many ex 
pressions, but yet I am certain that it is old : the present 
copy came from the housekeeper at Methven." Note by 
Sharpe, in Laing's ed. of the Ballad Book, 1880, p. 130, 
xvii. Motherwell, in his Minstrelsy, p. Ixx, n. 24, says that 
he had seen a stall ballad as early as 1 749, entitled ' The 
Western Tragedy,' which perfectly agreed with Sharpe's 
copy. But in his Note-Book, p. 5 (about 1826-7), Mother- 
well says, " The best copy of May Colean with which I 
have met occurs in a stall copy printed about thirty years 
ago [should we then read 1799 instead of 1749 ?], under the 
title of ' The Western Tragedy.' I have subsequently seen 
a posterior reprint of this stall copy under this title, ' The 
Historical Ballad of May Collean.' In Mr. Sharpe's Ballad 
Book, the same copy, wanting only one stanza, is given." 



24 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



He cries for help, and makes fair promises, C, 
E, but the maid rides away, with a bitter jest 
[on his steed, D, leading his steed, B, F] , and 
reaches her father's house before daybreak. 
The groom inquires in D about the strange 
horse, and is told that it is a found one. The 
parrot asks what she has been doing, and is 
silenced with a bribe ; and when the father 
demands why he was chatting so early, says 
he was calling to his mistress to take away 
the cat. Here C, B, F stop, but D goes on to 
relate that the maid at once tells her parents 
what has happened, and that the father rides 
off at dawn, under her conduct, to find Sir 
John. They carry off the corpse, which lay 
on the sands below the rocks, and bury it, for 
fear of discovery. 

There is in Hone's Table Book, m, 130, 
ed. 1841, a rifacimento by Dixon of the com 
mon English broadside in what passes for old- 
ballad style. This has been repeated in Rich 
ardson's Borderer's Table Book, vi, 367 ; in 
Dixon's Scottish Traditional Versions of An 
cient Ballads, p. 101 ; and, with alterations, 
additions, and omissions, in Sheldon's Min 
strelsy of the English Border, p. 194. 

Jamieson (1814) had never met with this 
ballad in Scotland, at least in anything like a 
perfect state ; but he says that a tale to the 
same effect, intermixed with scraps of verse, 
was familiar to him when a boy, and that he 
afterwards found it, " in much the same state, 
in the Highlands, in Lochaber and Ardna- 
murchan." "According to the tradition re 
ported by Jamieson, the murderer had seduced 
the younger sister of his wife, and was seeking 
to prevent discovery, a difference in the story 
which might lead us to doubt the accuracy of 
Jamieson's recollection. (Illustrations of North 
ern Antiquities, p. 348.) 

Stories like that of this ballad will inevi 
tably be attached, and perhaps more or less 
adapted, to localities where they become 
known. May Collean, says Chambers, Scot 
tish Ballads, p. 232, note, " finds locality in 
that wild portion of the coast of Carrick (Ayr 
shire) which intervenes betwixt Girvan and 
Ballantrae. Carlton Castle, about two miles 
to the south of Girvan (a tall old ruin, situ 



ated on the brink of a bank which overhangs 
the sea, and which gives title to Sir John 
Cathcart, Bart, of Carlton), is affirmed by the 
country people, who still remember the story 
with great freshness, to have been the resi 
dence of ' the fause Sir John ; ' while a tall 
rocky eminence called Gamesloup, overhang 
ing the sea about two miles still further south, 
and over which the road passes in a style ter- 
jible to all travellers, is pointed out as the 
place where he was in the habit of drowning 
his wives, and where he was finally drowned 
himself. The people, who look upon the bal 
lad as a regular and proper record of an un 
questionable fact, farther affirm that May Col- 
lean was a daughter of the family of Kennedy 
of Colzean," etc. Binyan's (Bunion) Bay, in 
D, is, according to Buchan, the old name of 
the mouth of the river Ugie. 

Far better preserved than the English, and 
marked with very ancient and impressive traits, 
is the Dutch ballad ' Halewijn,' which, not 
many years ago, was extensively sung in Bra 
bant and Flanders, and is still popular as a 
broadside, both oral tradition and printed cop 
ies exhibiting manifold variations. A version 
of this ballad (A) was communicated by Wil- 
lems to Mone's Anzeiger in 1836, col. 448 ff, 
thirty-eight two-line stanzas, and afterwards 
appeared in Willems's Oude vlaemsche Lie- 
deren (1848), No 49, p. 116, with some changes 
in the text and some various readings. Uh- 
land, I, 153, 74 D, gave the Anzeiger text, 
. with one correction. So Hoffmann, Nieder- 
landische Volkslieder, 2d ed., No 9, p. 39, but 
substituting for stanzas 19, 20 four stanzas 
from the margin of O. v. L., and making other 
slighter changes. Baecker, Chants historiques 
de la Flandre, No 9, p. 61, repeats Willems's 
second text, with one careless omission and 
one transposition. Coussemaker, Chants pop- 
ulaires des Flamands de France, No 45, p. 142, 
professes to give the text of Oude vlaemsche 
Liederen, and does so nearly. Snellaert, Oude 
en nieuwe Liedjes, 3d ed., 1864, No 55, p. 58, 
inserts seven stanzas in the place of 33, 34 of 
O. v. L., and two after 35, making forty-five 
two- (or three-) line stanzas instead of thirty- 
eight. These additions are also found in an 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



25 



excessively corrupt form of the ballad (B), 
Hoffmann, No 10, p. 43, in which the stanzas 
have been uniformly extended to three verses, 
to suit the air, which required the repetition 
of the second line of the original stanza. 

Heer Halewijn (A), like the English elf- 
knight, sang such a song that those who heard 
it longed to be with him. A king's daughter 
asked her father if she might go to Halewijn. 
No, he said ; those who go that way never 
come back [sixteen have lost their lives, B]. 
So said mother and sister, but her brother's 
answer was, I care not where you go, so long 
as you keep your honor. She dressed herself 
splendidly, took the best horse from her fa 
ther's stable, and rode to the wood, where she 
found Halewijn waiting for her.* They then 
rode on further, till they came to a gallows, 
on which many women were hanging. Hale 
wijn says, Since you are the fairest maid, 
choose your death [B 20 offers the choice be 
tween hanging and the sword]. She calmly 
chooses the sword. " Only take off your coat 
first, for a maid's blood spirts a great way, 
and it would be a pity to spatter you." His 
head was off before his coat, but the tongue 
still spake. This dialogue ensues : 

' Go yonder into the corn, 

And blow upon my horn, 

That all my friends you may warn.' 

' Into the corn I will not go, 

And on your horn I will not blow : 

A murderer's bidding I will not do.' 

' Go yonder under the gallows-tree, 
And fetch a pot of salve for me, 
And rub my red neck lustily.' 



* According to the variation given by Willems, and 
3opted by Hoffmann, Halewijn's son came to meet her, 
tied her horse to a tree, and bade her to sit down by him 
and loose her hair. For every hair she undid she dropped a 
tear. But it will presently be seen not only that the time 
has not come for them to sit down, but that Halewijn's bid 
ding her undo her hair (to no purpose) is a perversion of 
her offering to " red " his, to get him into her power, an offer 
which she makes in the German and Scandinavian ballads, 
where also there is good reason for her tears, but none as 
yet here. 

t J. W. "Wolf, Deutsche Marchen u. Sagen, No 29, p. 143, 
gives the story according to B, apparently from a ballad like 



' Under the gallows I will not go, 
Nor will I rub your red neck, no, 
A murderer's bidding I will not do.' 

She takes the head by the hair and washes 
it in a spring, and rides back through the 
wood. Half-way through she meets Hale 
wijn's mother, who asks after her son ; and 
she tells her that he is gone hunting, that he 
will never be seen again, that he is dead, and 
she has his head in her lap. When she came 
to her father's gate, she blew the horn like any 

man. 

And when the father heard the strain, 
He was glad she had come back again. 

Thereupon they held a feast, 
The head was on the table placed. 

Snellaert's copy and the modern three-line 
ballad have a meeting with father, brother, 
sister, and mother successively. The maid's 
answer to each of the first three is that Hale 
wijn is amusing himself with sixteen maids, 
or to that effect, but to the mother that he is 
dead, and she has his head in her lap. The 
mother angrily replies, in B, that if she had 
given this information earlier she would not 
have got so far on her way home. The maid 
retorts, Wicked woman, you are lucky not to 
have been served as your son ; then rides, 
" like Judith wise," straight to her father's 
palace, where she blows the horn blithely, and 
is received with honor and love by the whole 
court.f 

Another Flemish version (C) has been late 
ly published under the title, ' Roland,' by 
which only, we are informed, is this particular 
form known in Bruges and many parts of 

Snellaert's. So Luise v. Ploennies, Reiseerinnerungen aus 
Belgien, p. 38. 

Halewyn makes his appearance again in the Flemish bal 
lad, ' Halewyn en het kleyne Kind/ Coussemaker, No 46, p. 
149 ; Poesies populaires de la France, vol. i. A boy of seven 
years has shot one of Halewyn's rabbits, and is for this 
condemned to be hanged on the highest tree in the park. 
The father makes great offers for his ransom, but in vain. 
On the first step of the ladder the child looks back for his 
mother, on the second for his father, on the third for his 
brother, on the fourth for his sister, each of whom succes 
sively arrives and is told that delay would have cost him 
his life. It will presently be seen that there is a resemblance 
here to German ballads (G-X, Z). 



26 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



Flanders : * Chants populaires recueillis a 
Bruges par Adolphe Lootens et J. M. E. Feys, 
No 37, p. CO, 183 w, in sixty-three stanzas, of 
two, three, four, or five lines. This text dates 
from the last century, and is given with the 
most exact fidelity to tradition. It agrees with 
A as to some main points, but differs not a 
little as to others. The story sets out thus : 

It was a bold Roland, 
He loved a lass from England ; 
He wist not how to get her, 
With reading or with writing, 
With brawling or with fighting. 

Roland has lost Halewyn's art of singing. 
Louise asks her father if she may go to Roland, 
to the fair, as all her friends do. Her father 
refuses : Roland is " een stoute kalant," a bad 
fellow that betrays pretty maids; he stands 
with a drawn sword in his hand, and all his 
soldiers in armor. The daughter says she has 
seen Roland more than once, and that the tale 
about the drawn sword and soldiers is not true. 
This scene is exactly repeated with mother and 
brother. Louise then tries her shrift-father. 
He is easier, and does not care where she 
goes, provided she keeps her honor and does 
not shame her parents. She tells father, mother, 
and brother that she has leave from her con 
fessor, makes her toilet as in A, takes the finest 
horse in the stable, and rides to the wood. 
There she successively meets Roland's father, 
mother, and brother, each of whom asks her 
where she is going, and whether she has any 
right to the crown she wears. To all she re 
plies, Whether I have or not, be off ; I know 
you not. She does not encounter Roland in 
the wood, they do not ride together, and there 
is no gallows-field. She enters Roland's house, 
where he is lying abed. He bids her gather 

* " La chanson de Halewyn, telle a pen pres que la donnent 
"Willems, Snellaert et de Coussemaker, se vend encore sur 
le marche de Bruges. Quoiqu'elle porte pour titre Halewyn, 
jamais notre piece n'a etc connue ici sous ce nom. Le nom 
de Halewijn, Alewijn ou Alwin . . . est reserve an heros de 
la piece suivante " [Mi Adel en Hir Alewijn]. Lootens et 
Feys, p. 66. " U est a regretter que Willems et de Cous 
semaker n'aient pas juge a propos de donner cette piece telle 
que le peuple 1'a conserve'e ; on serait sans aucun doute en 
possession de variantes remarquables, et les lacunes qui ex- 



three rose- wreaths " at his hands " and three at 
his feet ; but when she approaches the foot of 
the bed he rises, and offers her the choice to 
lose her honor or kneel before the sword. She 
chooses the sword, advises him to spare his 
coat, and, while he is taking it off, strikes off 
his head, all as in A. The head speaks : Go 
under the gallows (of which we have heard 
nothing hitherto), fetch a pot of salve, rub 
it on my wounds, and they shall straight be 
well. She declines to follow a murderer's 
rede, or to learn magic. The head bids her 
go under the blue stone and fetch a pot of 
maidens-grease, which also will heal the 
wounds. This again she refuses to do, in the 
same terms ; then seizes the head by the hair, 
washes it in a spring, and rides off with it 
through the wood, duly meeting Roland's fa 
ther, mother, and brother once more, all of 
whom challenge her, and to all of whom she 

answers, 

t 

Roland your son is long ago dead ; 
God has his soul and I his head ; 
For in my lap here I have his head, 
And with the blood my apron is red. 

When she came back to the city the drums 
and the trumpets struck up.f She stuck the 
head out of the window, and cried, " Now I 
am Roland's bride ! " She drew it in, and 
cried, " Now I am a heroine ! " 

Danish. Eleven versions of this ballad are 
known in Danish, seven of which are given in 
Danmarks gamle Folkeviser, No 183, ' Kvin- 
demorderen,' A-G. Four more, H-L, are fur 
nished by Kristensen, Jydske Folkeviser, I, 
Nos 46, 47, 91 ; II, No 85. A, in forty-one 
two-line stanzas (previously printed in Grundt- 
vig's'Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 233), 
is from a 16th century MS. ; B, thirty stanzas, 

istent dans notre version n'eussent pas manque" d'etre com 
ble'es. II est bon d'insister sur la remarque faite a la suite 
de la chanson, qu'a Bruges et dans beaucoup de localite's de 
la Flandre, elle n'est connue que sous le titre de Roland. 
Ajoutons que notre texte appartient au dernier siecle." L. 
et F., 295. 

t So in ' Liebe ohne* Stand,' one of the mixed forms of 
the German ballad, Wunderhorn, Erk i, 41, Crecelius, i, 36, 

Und als es nun kam an den dritten Tag, 
Da gingen die Pfeiffen und Trommeln an. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



27 



C, twenty-four, D, thirty-seven, from MSS of 
the 17th century ; E, fifty-seven, from a broad 
side of the end of the 18th ; P, thirty, from 
one of the beginning of the 19th ; and G-L, 
thirty-five, twenty-three, thirty-one, twenty-six, 
thirty-eight stanzas, from recent oral tradition. 

The four older versions, and also B, open 
with some lines that occur at the beginning of 
other ballads.* In A and B, and, we may add, 
G, the maid is allured by the promise of being 
taken to a paradise exempt from death and 
sorrow ; C, D, F promise a train of handmaids 
and splendid presents. All the versions agree 
very well as to the kernel of the story. A 
false knight prevails upon a lady to elope 
with him, and they ride to a wood [they sim 
ply meet in a wood, H, K]. He sets to work 
digging a grave, which she says is too long 
for his [her] dog and too narrow for his [her] 
horse [all but F, H]. She is told that the 
grave is for her. He has taken away the life 
[and honor, B, C, I] of eight maids, and she 
shall be the ninth. The eight maids become 
nine kings' daughters in E, ten in F, nineteen 
in G, and in E and F the hard choice is of 
fered of death by sword, tree, or stream. In 
A, E, I, L the knight bids the lady get her 
gold together before she sets out with him, 
and in D, H, K, L he points out a little knoll 
under which he keeps the gold of his previous 
victims. The maid now induces the knight 
to lie down with his head in her lap, profess 
ing a fond desire to render him the most 
homely of services f [not in C, G, I, K] . He 
makes an express condition in E, F, G, H, 
L that she shall not betray him in his sleep, 
and she calls Heaven to witness that she will 
not. In G she sings him to sleep. He slept 

sleep that was not sweet. She binds him 
land and foot, then cries, Wake up ! I will 
lot betray you in sleep. $ Eight you have 

* E. g., the wonderland in A 2-6, and the strict watch 
tept over the lady in 7-10 are repeated in ' Ribold og Guld- 
arg,' Grundtvig, 82, B 2-7, 8-11, and in 'Den trofaste Jom- 
i,' ib. 249, A 3-6, 7-10. The watching in A, B, C and 
tie proffered gifts of C, D, F are found in ' Nakkens Svig,' 
irundtvig, 39, A, B, 12-18. The disguise in A 11-14, the 
est in the wood with the knight's head in the lady's lap, A 
16, 27, B 11, 21, D 14, 24, B 11, 21, etc., recur in Kibold, 



killed ; yourself shall be the ninth. En 
treaties and fair promises and pretences that 
he had been in jest, and desire for shrift, are 
in vain. Woman-fashion she drew his sword, 
but man-fashion she cut him down. She 
went home a maid. 

E, F, G, however, do not end so simply. 
On her way home through the wood [E], she 
comes upon a maid who is working gold, and 
who says, The last time I saw that horse my 
brother rode it. She answers, Your brother is 
dead, and will do no more murdering for gold ; 
then turns her horse, and sets the sister's bower 
on fire. Next she encounters seven robbers on 
the heath, who recognize the horse as their 
master's, and are informed of his death and of 
the end of his crimes. They ask about the 
fire. She says it is an old pig-sty. She rides 
on, and they call to her that she is losing her 
horse's gold shoe. But nothing can stop her ; 
she bids them pick it up and drink it in wine ; 
and so comes home to her father's. F has 
nothing of the sister ; in place of seven rob 
bers there are nine of the robber's brothers, 
and the maid sets their house on fire. G in 
dulges in absurd extravagances : the heroine 
meets the robber's sister with twelve fierce 
dogs, and then his twelve swains, and cuts 
down both dogs and swains. 

The names in the Danish ballads are, A, 
TJlver and Vsenelil ; B, Olmor, or Oldemor, 
and Vindelraad ; C, Hollemen and Vendel- 
raad ; D, Romor, Reimord, or Reimvord, and 
the maid unnamed ; F, Herr Peder and Liden 
Kirsten ; H-L, Ribold, Rigbold [I, Rimmelil] 
and Guldborg. 

Four Swedish versions are known, all from 
tradition of this century. A, 'Den Falske 
Riddaren,' twenty-three two-line stanzas, Ar- 
widsson, 44 B, I, 301. B, ' Rofvaren Brun,' 
fifteen stanzas, Afzelius, 83, in, 97. C, twen- 

B 12-14, L 9, 10, M 19, 20, N 11, 13, P 12, 13. These re 
semblances, naturally, are not limited to the Danish copies. 

t So the princess in Asbjornsen og Moe, N. Folkeeventyr, 
p. 153. Cf. Campbell's Tales of the West Highlands, in, 
209 ; iv, 282, 283. 

t The binding and waking, with these words, are found 
also in a made-up text of ' Frsendehaevn,' Grundtvig, No 4, 
C 51-53, but certainly borrowed from some copy of 'Kvinde- 
morderen.' 



28 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



ty-seven stanzas, Arwidsson, 44 A, I, 298. D, 
' Rofvaren Rymer,' sixteen stanzas, Afzelius, 
82, in, 94. A, B, D have resemblances, at 
the beginning, to the Ribold ballads, like the 
Danish A, B, B, G, while the beginning of C 
is like the Danish C, D, F. A has the grave- 
digging ; there have been eight maids before ; 
the knight lays his head in the lady's lap for 
the same reason as in most of the Danish 
ballads, and under the same assurance that he 
shall not be betrayed in sleep ; he is bound, 
and conscientiously waked before his head is 
struck off ; and the lady rides home to her fa 
ther's. There have been eight previous victims 
in C, and they king's daughters ; in B, eleven 
(maids) ; D says not how many, but, accord 
ing to an explanation of the woman that sang 
it, there were seven princesses. C, D, like 
Danish B, F, G, make the maid encounter 
some of the robber's family on the way home. 
By a misconception, as we perceive by the 
Dutch ballad, she is represented as blowing 
the robber's horn. Seven sisters come at the 
familiar sound to bury the murdered girl and 
share the booty, but find that they have their 
brother to bury. 

The woman has no name in any of the Swe- 
'dish ballads. A calls the robber " an outland 
ish man " (en man if ran fremmande land), B, 
simple Brun, C, a knight, and D, Riddaren 
Rymer, or Herr Rymer. 

Of Norwegian versions, but two have been 
printed : A, ' Svein NorSmann,' twenty two- 
line stanzas, Landstad, 69, p. 567 ; B, ' Rulle- 
mann og Hildeborg,' thirty stanzas, Landstad, 
70, p. 571, both from recent recitation. Bugge 
has communicated eight others to Grundtvig. 
Both A and B have the paradise at the be 
ginning, which is found in Danish A, B, G, 
and Swedish D. In both the lady gets her 
gold together while the swain is saddling his 
horse. They come to a grave already dug, 
which in B is said to be made so very wide 
because Rulleman has already laid nine maid 
ens in it. The stanza in A which should 
give the number is lost, but the reciter or 
singer put it at seven or nine. The maid gets 
the robber into her power by the usual arti 
fice, with a slight variation in B. According 



to A, she rides straight home to her father. 
B, like Danish F, has an encounter with her 
false lover's [five] brothers. They ask, Where 
is Rullemann, thy truelove ? She answers, 
He is lying down, in the green mead, and 
bloody is his bridal bed. 

Of the unprinted versions obtained by Pro 
fessor Bugge, two indicate that the murderer's 
sleep was induced by a spell, as in English A. 
F 9 has, 

Long time stood Gullbjb'r ; to herself she thought, 
May none of my runes avail me ought ? 

And H 18, as also a variant to B 20, says it 
was a rune-slumber that came over him. Only 
G, H, I, K give the number of the murdered 
women : in G, H, eight, in I, nine, in K, five. 

The names are, in A, Svein NorSmann and 
GuSbjorg ; B, Rulleman and Hildeborg [or 
Signe] ; C, D, E, F, Svein N6rmann and Gull 
bjb'r [Gunnbjor] ; G, Rullemann and Kjersti ; 
H, Rullball and Signelill ; I, Alemarken and 
Valer6s ; K, Rulemann and a fair maid. 

Such information as has transpired concern 
ing Icelandic versions of this ballad is fur 
nished by Grundtvig, IV, 4. The Icelandic 
form, though curtailed and much, injured, has 
shown tenacity enough to preserve itself in a 
series of closely agreeing copies from the 17th 
century down. The eldest, from a manuscript 
of 1665, runs thus : 

1 Asa went along the street, she heard a sweet 

sound. 

2 Asa went into the house, she saw the villain 

bound. 

3 ' Little Asa, loose me ! I will not beguile thee.' 

4 ' I dare not loose thee, I know not whether 

thou 'It beguile me.' 

5 ' God almighty take note who deceives the 

other ! ' 

6 She loosed the bands from his hand, the fetter 

from his foot. 

7 ' Nine lands have I visited, ten women I 've 

beguiled ; 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



29 



8 ' Thou art now the eleventh, I '11 not let thee 

slip.' 

A copy, from the beginning of the 18th 
century, has, in stanza 2, "Asa went into the 
wood" a recent copy, " over the fields ; " and 
stanza 3, in the former, with but slight dif 
ferences in all the modern copies, reads, 

1 Welcome art thou, Asa maid ! thou wilt mean to 
loose me.' 

Some recent copies (there is one in Berggreen, 
Danske Folkesange, 2d ed., I, 162) allow the 
maid to escape, adding, 

9 ' Wait for me a little space, whilst I go into the 

green wood.' 

10 He waited for her a long time, but she never 

came back to him. 

11 Asa took her white steed, of all women she rode 

most. 

12 Asa went into a holy cell, never did she harm 

to man. 

This is certainly one of the most important 
of the German ballads, and additions are con 
stantly making to a large number of known 
versions. Excepting two broadsides of about 
1560, and two copies from recitation printed 
in 1778, all these, twenty-six in number, have 
been obtained from tradition since 1800.* 
They are as follows : A a, ' Gert Olbert,' ' Die 
Morners Sang,' in Low German, as written 
down by William Grimm, in the early years 
of this century, 61 vv, Reifferscheid, p. 161, n. 
A b, " from the Miinster region," communi 
cated to Uhland by the Baroness Annette von 
Droste-Hiillshof, 46 vv, Uhland, I, 151, No 
74 C; repeated in Mittler, No 79. A c, a 
fragment from the same source as the preced 
ing, and written down at the beginning of this 
century, 35 vv, Reifferscheid, p. 161, I. B, ' Es 
wollt sich ein Markgraf ausreiten, 1 from Bok- 
endorf, Westphalia, as taken down by W. 
Grimm, in 1813, 41 vv, Reifferscheid, p. 116. 
C a, ' Die Gerettete,' " from the Lower Rhine," 
twenty-six two-line stanzas, Zuccalmaglio, No 

* All the German versions appear to have been originally 
in the two-line stanza. 



28, p. 66 ; Mittler, No 85. C b, eleven two- 
line stanzas, Montanus (== Zuccalmaglio) Die 
deutschen Volksfeste, p. 45. D, ' Von einem 
wackern Magdlein, Odilia geheissen,' etc., from 
the Rhine, 34 vv [Longard], No 24, p. 48. 
E, ' Schondilie,' Menzenberg and Breitbach, 
59 vv, Simrock, No 7, p. 19 ; Mittler, No 86. 
P, ' Jungfrau Linnich,' communicated by Zuc 
calmaglio as from the Rhine region, Berg and 
Mark, fourteen two-line stanzas, Erlach, iv, 
598, and Kretzschmer (nearly), No 92, p. 164 ; 
Mittler, No 87. G a, Ulinger,' 120 vv, Nu 
remberg broadside " of about 1555 " (Bohme) 
in Wunderhorn, ed. 1857, IV, 101, Bohme, 
No lo a , p. 56. G b c, Basel broadsides, " of 
about 1570 " (Bohme), and of 1605, in Uh 
land, No 74 A, i, 141 ; Mittler, No 77. H, 
4 Adelger,' 120 vv, an Augsburg broadside, " of 
about 1560 " (Bohme), Uhland, No 74 B, i, 
146 ; Bohrae, No 13 b , p. 58 ; Mittler, No 76. 
I, Der Brautmb'rder,' in the dialect of the 
Kuhlandchen (Northeast Moravia and Aus 
trian Silesia), 87 vv, Meinert, p. 61 ; Mittler, 
No 80. J, ' Annele,' Swabian, from Hirrlin- 
gen and Obernau, 80 vv, Meier, Schwabische 
V. L., No 168, p. 298. K, another Swabian 
version, from Hirrlingen, Immenried, and many 
other localities, 80 vv, Scherer, Jungbrunnen, 
No 5 B, p. 25. L a, from the Swabian-Wiir- 
temberg border, 81 vv, Birlinger, Schwabisch- 
Angsburgisches Worterbuch, p. 458. L b, 
[Birlinger], Schwabische V. L., p. 159, from 
Immenried, nearly word for word the same. 
M, ' Der falsche Sanger,' 40 vv, Meier, No 167, 
p. 296. N, ' Es reitets ein Ritter durch Haber 
und Klee,' 43 vv, a fifth Swabian version, from 
Hirrlingen, Meier, p. 302. O, ' Alte Ballade 
die in Eutlebuch noch gesungen wird,' twenty- 
three double stanzas, in the local dialect, 
Schweizerblatter von Henne und Reithard, 
1833, n r Jahrgang, 210-12. P, 'Das Gug- 
gibader-Lied,' twenty-one treble stanzas (23 ?), 
in the Aargau dialect, Rochholz, Schweizer- 
sagen aus dem Aargau, I, 24. Q, ' Es sitzt 
gut Ritter auf und ritt,' a copy taken down in 
1815 by J. Grimm, from the recitation of a 
lady who had heard it as a child in German 
Bohemia, 74 vv, Reifferscheid, p. 162. R, ' Bie 
wriie i^t auv der rittersman,' in the dialect of 



30 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



Gottschee, Carniola, 86 vv, Schroer, Sitzungs- 
berichte der Wiener Ak., phil-hist. Cl, LX, 462. 
S, ' Das Lied von dem falschen Rittersmann,' 
60 vv, from Styria, Rosegger and Heuberger, 
Volkslieder aus Steiermark, No 19, p. 17. T, 
4 Ulrich und Annchen,' * 49 w, Herder's Volks 
lieder, 1778,1, 79; Mittler, No 78. U,'Schon 
Ulrich und Roth-Aennchen,' 46 vv, in Tasch- 
enbuch fiir Dichter und Dichterfreunde, Abth. 
viii, 126, 1778, from Upper Lusatia (slightly 
altered by the contributor, Meissner) ; Mittler, 
No 84. A copy from Kapsdorf, in Hoffmann 
and Richter's Schlesische V. L., No 13, p. 27, 
is the same, differing by only three words. V, 
4 Schb'n-Aennelein,' 54 w, from the eastern 
part of Brandenburg, Erk u. Inner, 6th Heft, 
p. 64, No 56 (stanzas 4-8 from the preceding). 
"W, ' Schb'n Ullerich und Hanselein,' twenty- 
nine two-line stanzas, from the neighborhood 
of Breslau, in Grater's Idunna und Hermode, 
No 35, Aug. 29, 1812, following p. 140. The 
same in Schlesische V. L., No 12, p. 23, ' Schb'n 
Ulrich u. Rautendelein,' with a stanza (12) 
inserted ; and Mittler, No 81. X, ' Der Al- 
brecht u. der Hanselein,' 42 TV, from Natan- 
gen, East Prussia, in Neue preussische Pro- 
vinzial-Blatter, 2d series, in, 158, No 8. Y, 
4 Ulrich u. Annie,' nineteen two-line stanzas, 
a second Kuhlandchen version, Meinert, p. 66 ; 
Mittler, No 83. Z a, 4 Von einem frechen 
Rauber, Herr Ulrich geheissen,' nineteen two- 
line stanzas, from the Rhine [Longard], No 23, 
p. 46. Z b, ' Ulrich,' as sung on the Lower 
Rhine, the same ballad, with unimportant ver 
bal differences, and the insertion of one stanza 
(7, the editor's ?), Zuccalmaglio, No 15, p. 39 ; 
Mittler, No 82. 

The German ballads, as Grundtvig has 
pointed out, divide into three well-marked 
classes. The first class, embracing the ver 
sions A-F (6), and coming nearest to English 
and Dutch tradition, has been found along 
the lower half of the Rhine and in Westpha 
lia, or in Northwest Germany; the second, 
including G-S (13), is met with in Swabia, 
Switzerland, Bohemia, Moravia, Styria, Car- 

* The copies with this title in Simrock, No 6, p. 1 5, and 
in Scherer's Jungbrunnen, No 5 A, and his Deutsche V. L., 
1851, p. 349, are compounded from various texts. 



niola, or in South Germany ; the third, T-Z 
(7), in East Prussia, the eastern part of Bran 
denburg and of Saxony, Silesia, and, again, 
Moravia, or, roughly speaking, in North and 
East Germany ; but, besides the Moravian, 
there is also of this third class one version, in 
two copies, from the Rhine. 

(I.) A runs thus. She that would ride out 
with Gert Olbert must dress in silk and gold. 
When fair Helena had so attired herself, she 
called from her window, Gert Olbert, come 
and fetch the bride. He took her by her 
silken gown and swung her on behind him, 
and they rode three days and nights. Helena 
then said, We must eat and drink ; but Gert 
Olbert said, We must go on further. They 
rode over the green heath, and Helena once 
more tenderly asked for refreshment. Under 
yon fir [linden], said Gert Olbert, and kept 
on till they came to a green spot, where nine 
maids were hanging. Then it was, Wilt 
thou choose the fir-tree, the running stream, 
or the naked" sword ? She chose the sword, 
but begged him to take off his silken coat, 
" for a maid's blood spirts far, and I should be 
sorry to spatter it." While he was engaged 
in drawing off his coat, she cut off his head. 
But still the false tongue spoke. It bade her 
blow in his horn ; then she would have com 
pany enough. She was not so simple as to do 
this. She rode three days and nights, and 
blew the horn when she reached her father's 
castle. Then all the murderers came running, 
like hounds after a hare. Frau Clara [Jutte] 
called out, Where is my son ? Under the fir- 
tree, sporting with nine maids ; he meant me 
to be the tenth, said Helena. 

B is the same story told of a margrave and 
Fair Annie, but some important early stanzas 
are lost, and the final ones have suffered in 
jury ; for the ballad ends with this conceit, 
" She put the horn to her mouth, and blew the 
margrave quite out of her heart." Here, by a 
transference exceedingly common in tradition, 
it is the man, and not the maid, that " would 
ride in 'velvet and silk and red gold." 

C a has the names Odilia and Hilsinger, 
a trooper (reiter). Odilia was early left an 
orphan, and as she grew up " she grew into 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



31 



the trooper's bosom." He offered her seven 
pounds of gold to be his, and " she thought 
seven pounds of gold a good thing." We now 
fall into the track of A. Odilia dresses her 
self like a bride, and calls to the trooper to 
come and get her. They ride first to a high 
hill, where she asks to eat and drink, and then 
go on to a linden-tree, on which seven maids 
are hanging. The choice of three deaths is 
offered, the sword chosen, he is entreated to 
spare his coat, she seizes his sword and hews 
off his head. The false tongue suggests blow 
ing the horn. Odilia thinks " much biding 
or blowing is not good." She rides away, and 
presently meets the trooper's "little foot-page " 
(hot), who fancies she has Hilsinger's horse 
and sword. " He sleeps," she says, " with 
seven maids, and thought I was to be the 
eighth." This copy concludes with a mani 
festly spurious stanza. C b agrees with C a 
for ten stanzas, as to the matter, and so far 
seems to be C a improved by Zuccalmaglio, 
with such substitutions as a princely castle 
for " seven pounds of gold." The last stanza 

(11), 

Und als die Sternlein am Himmel Mar, 
Ottilia die achte der Todten war, 

was, no doubt, suggested by the last of P, an 
other of Zuccalmaglio's versions, and, if genu 
ine, would belong to a ballad of the third class. 
D has the name Odilia for the maid, but the 
knight, or trooper, has become expressly a 
robber (ritter, reiter, rauber). They ride to 
a green heath, where there is a cool spring. 
Odilia asks for and gets a draught of water, 
and is told that at the linden-tree there will 
be eating and drinking for them. And when 
they come to the linden, there hang six, seven 
maids ! All proceeds as before. The talking 
head is lost. Odilia meets the robber's mother, 
and makes the usual reply.* 

* Both D and E have attached to them this final stanza : 

' Odilia, why are thy shoes so red ? ' 
' It is three doves that I shot dead.' 

This is a well-known commonplace in tragic ballads ; and 
Grundtvig suggests that this stanza was the occasion of the 
story taking the turn which we find in ballads of the third 
class. 



E resembles C closely. ' Odilia becomes 
Schondilg (Schon Odilie), Rauber returns to 
Ritter, or Reiter, and the servant-maid bribe 
of seven pounds of gold rises to ten tons.f 
Schondilg's toilet, preparatory to going off 
(6-8), is described with a minuteness that we 
find only in the Dutch ballad (12-16). After 
this, there is no important variation. She 
meets the trooper's three brothers, and makes 
the same replies to them as to the mother 
in D. 

F. The personages here are Linnich (i. e., 
Nellie) and a knight from England. The first 
twelve stanzas do not diverge from C, D, B. 
In stanza 13 we find the knight directing the 
lady to strip off her silk gown and gold neck 
lace, as in the English C, D, E ; but certainly 
this inversion of the procedure which obtains 
in German C, D, E is an accident arising 
from confused recollection. The 14th and 
last stanza similarly misunderstands the maid's 
feigned anxiety about the knight's fine coat, 
and brings the ballad to a false close, resem 
bling the termination of those of the third 
class, still more those of certain mixed forms 
to be spoken of presently. 

(II.) The second series, G-S, has three or 
four traits that are not found in the foregoing 
ballads. G, which, as well as H, was in print 
more than two hundred years before any other 
copy is known to have been taken down, be 
gins, like the Dutch Halewijn, with a knight 
(Ulinger) singing so sweetly that a maid 
(Fridburg) is filled with desire to go off with 
him. He promises to teach her his art. This 
magical song is wanting only in R, of class 
II, and the promise to teach it only in Q, R. 
She attires herself splendidly ; he swings her 
on to his horse behind him, and they ride to a 
wood. When they came to the wood there 
was no one there but a white dove on a hazel- 
bush, that sang, Listen, Fridburg: Ulinger 

t One scarcely knows whether this bribe is an imperfect 
reminiscence of splendid promises which the knight makes, 
e. g., in the Danish ballads, or a shifting from the maid to 
the knight of the gold which the elsewhere opulent or well- 
to-do maid gets together while the knight is preparing to set 
forth ; or simply one of those extravagances which so often 
make their appearance in later versions of ballads. 



32 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



has hanged eleven * maids ; the twelfth is in 
his clutches. Fridburg asked what the dove 
was saying. Ulinger replied, It takes me for 
another ; it lies in its red bill ; and rode on 
till it suited him to alight. He spread his 
cloak on the grass, and asked her to sit down : 

Er sprach sie solt ihm lausen, 
Sein gelbes Haar zerzausen.f 

Looking up into her eyes, he saw tears, and 
asked why she was weeping. Was it for her 
sorry husband ? Not for her sorry husband, 
she said. But here some stanzas, which be 
long to another ballad, $ have crept in, and she 
is, with no reason, made to ride further on. 
She comes to a lofty fir, and eleven maids 
hanging on it. She wrings her hands and tears 
her hair, and implores Ulinger to let her be 
hanged in her clothes as she is. 

' Ask me not that, Fridburg,' he said ; 
' Ask me not that, thou good young maid ; 
Thy scarlet mantle and kirtle black 
Will well become my young sister's back.' 

Then she begs to be allowed three cries. 

' So much I may allow thee well, 
Thou art so deep within the dell ; 
So deep within the dell we lie, 
No man can ever hear thy cry.' 

She cries, "Help, Jesu!" "Help, Mary!" 
" Help, dear brother ! " 

' For if thou come not straight, 
For my life 't will be too late ! ' 

Her brother seems to hear his sister's voice 
" in every sense." 

He let his falcon fly, 
Rode off with hounds in full cry ; 
With all the haste he could 
He sped to the dusky wood. 

* The number eleven is remarkably constant in the Ger 
man ballads, being found in G, H, J-L, N-W ; it is also the 
number in Swedish B. Eight is the favorite number in the 
North, and occurs in Danish A-D, H-L, Swedish A, C, 
Norwegian G, H ; again in German I. German M, X, Dan 
ish F, have ten ; German A, B, Danish E, Norwegian I, 
have nine ; German C, D, seven ; Danish G has nineteen. 



' What dost thou here, my Ulinger ? 
What dost thou here, my master dear ? ' 
' Twisting a withe, and that -is all, 
To make a halter for my foal.' 

' Twisting a withe, and that is all, 
To make a halter for thy foal ! 
I swear by my troth thus shall it be, 
Thyself shalt be the foal for me.' 

' Then this I beg, my Fridburger, 
Then this I beg, my master dear, 
That thou wilt let me hang 
In my clothes as now I stand.' 

' Ask me not that, thou Ulinger, 
Ask me not that, false perjurer; 
Thy scarlet mantle and jerkin black 
Will well become my scullion's back.' 

His shield before his breast he slung, 
Behind him his fair sister swung, 
And so he hied away 
Where his father's kingdom lay. 

H, the nearly contemporaneous Augsburg 
broadside, differs from G in only one impor 
tant particular. The " reuter " is Adelger, 
the lady unnamed. A stanza is lost between 
6 and 7, which should contain the warning 
of the dove, and so is Adelger'a version of 
what the bird had said. The important fea 
ture in H, not present in G, is that the halt is 
made near a spring, about which blood is 
streaming, " der war mit blut umbrunnenn." 
This adds a horror to this powerful scene 
which well suits with it. When the maid be 
gins to weep, Adelger asks whether her tears 
are for her father's land, or because she dis 
likes him so much. It is for neither reason, 
but because on yon fir she sees eleven maids 
hanging. He confirms her fears : 

' Ah, thou fair young lady fine, 
O palsgravine, empress mine, 

French A, B have fourteen, fifteen, Italian ballads still 
higher numbers : A, B, C, thirty-six, D, fifty-two, E, thirty- 
three, F, three hundred and three. 

t This stroke of realism fails only in M, N, R, of this 
second class. 

J Apparently to a Ribold ballad, of which no other trace 
has been found in German. See further on in this volume. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



33 



Adelger 's killed his eleven before, 
Thou 'It be the twelfth, of that be sure.' * 

The last two lines seem, by their form, to 
be the dove's warning that has dropped out 
between stanzas 6 and 7. The maid's clothes 
in H are destined to be the perquisite of Adel- 
ger's mother, and the brother says that Adel- 
ger's are to go to his shield-bearer. The un 
happy maid cries but twice, to the Virgin and 
to her brother. When surprised by the broth 
er, Adelger feigns to be twisting a withe for 
his falcon. 

I begins, like G, H, with the knight's se 
ductive song. Instead of the dove directly 
warning the maid, it upbraids the man : 
" Whither now, thou Ollegehr ? f Eight hast 
thou murdered already ; and now for the 
ninth ! " The maid asks what the dove means, 
and is told to ride on, and not mind the dove, 
who takes him for another man. There are 
eight maids in the fir. The cries are to Jesus, 
Mary, and her brothers, one of whom hastens 
to the rescue. He is struck with the beauty 
of his sister's attire, her velvet dress, her 
virginal crown, " which you shall wear many 
a year yet." So saying, he draws his sword, 
and whips off his "brother-in-law's" head, 
with this epicedium : 

' Lie there, thou head, and bleed, 
Thou never didst good deed. 

' Lie there, thou head, and rot, 
No man shall mourn thy lot. 

' No one shall ever be sorry for thee 

But the small birds on the greenwood tree.' $ 

In J, again, the knight comes riding through 

* 13 ' Ach du schone junkfraw fein, 
Du pfalzgravin, du kaiserin ! 
Der Adelger hat sich vor ailf getodt, 
Du wirst die zwolft, das sei dir gsait. 

15 ' So bitt mich nit, du junkfraw fein, 
So bitt mich nit, du herzigs ein ! ' 

The liebkosung of this murder-reeking Adelger, o'ersized 
with coagulate gore, is admirably horrible. 

t Nimmersatt (All-begehrend) as interpreted by Meinert, 
not Adelger. 

Verses which recur, nearly, not only in Y 17-19, W 
27, 28, but elsewhere, as in a copy of ' Graf Friedrich,' Erk's 
Liederhort, p. 41, No 15, st. 19. 



the reeds, and sings such a song that Brown 
Annele, lying under the casement, exclaims, 
" Could I but sing like him, I would .give my 
troth and my honor ! " There are, by mistake, 
two doves in stanza 4, that warn Annele not 
to be beguiled, but this error is set right in the 
next stanza. When she asks what the dove 
is cooing, the answer is, " It is cooing about 
its red foot ; it went barefoot all winter." We 
have here again, as in H, the spring in the 
wood, " mit Blute umrunnen," and the lady 
asks again the meaning of the bloody spring. 
The knight replies, in a stanza which seems 
both corrupted and out of place, " This is 
where the eleven pure virgins perished." Then 
follow the same incidents as in G-I. He says 
she must hang with the eleven in the fir, and 
be queen over all. Her criea are for her fa 
ther, for Our Lady, and for her brother, who 
is a hunter in the forest. The hunter makes 
all haste to his sister, twists a withe, and 
hangs the knight without a word between 
them, then takes his sister by the hand and 
conducts her home, with the advice never 
more to trust a knight : for all which she re 
turns her devout thanks. || 

K and L are of the same length and the 
same tenor as J. There are no names in L ; 
in K both Annele and Ulrich, but the latter 
is very likely to have been inserted by the 
editor. K, L have only one dove, and in 
neither does the lady ask the meaning of the 
dove's song. The knight simply says, " Be 
still ; thou liest in thy throat ! " Both have 
the bloody spring, but out of place, for it is 
very improperly spoken of by the knight as 
the spot he is making for : 

There is no sense in two doves. The single dove one 
may suppose to be the spirit of the last victim. We shall 
find the eleven appearing as doves in Q. There is no occa 
sion to regard the dove here as a Waldminne ( Vilmar, Hand- 
biichlein fur Freunde des deutschen Volkslieds, p. 57). Cf. 
the nightingale (and two nightingales) in the Danish ' Red- 
selille og Medelvold : ' see ' Leesome Brand,' further on in 
this volume. 

|| This ballad has become, in Tubingen, a children's game, 
called ' Bertha im Wald.' The three cries are preserved in 
verse, and very nearly as in J, M. The game concludes by 
the robber smothering Bertha. Meier, Deutsche Kinder- 
Keime, No 439. 



34 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



' Wir wollen ein wenig weiter vonvarts faren, 
Bis zu einem kiihlen Waldbrunnen, 
Der ist mit Blut iiberronnen.' * 

L 26-28, 17-19. 

The three cries are for father, mother, 
brother. In K the brother fights with " Ul- 
rich " two hours and a half before he can mas 
ter him, then despatches him with his two- 
edged sword, and hangs him in a withe. He 
fires his rifle in L, to announce his coming, 
and hears his sister's laugh ; then stabs the 
knight through the heart. The moral of J is 
repeated in both : Stay at home, and trust no 
knight. 

M smacks decidedly of the bankelsanger, 
and has an appropriate moral at the tail: 
animi index cauda ! The characters are a 
cavalier and a girl, both nameless, and a 
brother. The girl, hearing the knight sing 
" ein Liedchen von dreierlei Stimmen," which 
should seem to signify a three-part song, says, 
" Ah, could I sing like him, I would straight 
way give him my honor." They ride to the 
wood, and come upon a hazel-bush with three 
doves, one of which informs the maid that 
she will be betrayed, the second that she will 
die that day, and the third that she will be 
buried in the wood. The second and third 
doves, as being false prophets, and for other 
reasons, may safely be pronounced intruders. 
All is now lost till we come to the cries, which 
are addressed to father, mother, and brother. 
The brother stabs the traitor to the heart.f 

N is as short as M, and, like it, has no 
names, but has all the principal points : the 

* K, or the editor, seeks to avoid the difficulty by taking 
the last line from the knight, and reading, " Mit Blut war 
er umronnen," an emendation not according with the sim 
plicity of ballads. Another Swabian copy, Meier, p. 301, 
note, strophe 6, has : 

' Wir miissen zu selbigem Bronnen 
Wo Wasser und Blut heraus ronnen.' 

t The last verses are these, and not very much worse than 
the rest : 

Mein Bruder ist ein Jagersmann, 
Der alle Thierlein schiessen kann ; 
Er hatt' ein zweischneidiges Schwerte, 
Und stach es dem Falschen ins Herze. 

Ihr Madchen alle insgemein, 
Lasst euch doch diess zur Warnung sein, 
Und geht doch mit keinem so falschen 
In einen so finsteren Walde. 



fascinating song, the dove on the bush, eleven 
maids in the fir, the three cries, and the res 
cue by the huntsman-brother, who cocks his 
gun and shoots the knight. The reciter of 
this ballad gave the editor to understand that 
if the robber had succeeded in his twelfth 
murder, he would have attained such powers 
that nobody after that could harm him 4 

O is a fairly well-preserved ballad, resem 
bling G-J as to the course of the story. An- 
neli, lying under the casement, hears the 
knight singing as he rides through the reeds. 
The elaborate toilet is omitted, as in I, J. 
The knight makes haste to the dark wood. 
They come to a cold spring, " mit Bluot war 
er iiberrunnen ; " then to a hazel, behind which 
a dove coos ominously. Anneli says, Listen. 
The dove coos you are a false man, that will 
not spare my life. No, says the knight, that 
is not it ; the dove is cooing about its blue 
foot, for its fate is to freeze in winter. The 
cloak is thrown 011 the grass, the eleven maids 
in the fir are descried, and Anneli is told she 
must hang highest, and be empress over all. 
He concedes her as many cries as she likes, for 
only the wood-birds will hear. She calls on 
God, the Virgin, and her brother. The brother 
thinks he hears his sister's voice, calls to his 
groom to saddle, comes upon the knight while 
he is twisting a withe for his horse, as he says, 
ties him to the end of the withe, and makes 
him pay for all he has perpetrated in the 
wood. He then swings Anneli behind him, 
and rides home with her. 

P, the other Swiss ballad, has been re- 

My brother is a hunting man, 

And all the small game shoot he can ; 

He had a sword with edges two, 

And ran the heart of the false man through 

Ye maidens now in general, 
Let this be warning to you all ; 
With man so false you never should 
Go to so very dark a wood. 

J So in Rochholz, Schweizer Sagen, No 14, i, 23, a man 
who had killed eleven maids would, if he could have made 
up the number twelve, have been able to pass through walls 
and mouseholes. Again, a certain robber in Jutland, who 
had devoured eight children's hearts, would have acquired 
the power of flying could he but have secured one more. 
Grundtvig, D. g. F. iv, 16, note. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



35 



touched, and more than retouched in places, 
by a modern pen. Still the substance of the 
story, and, on the whole, the popular tone, is 
preserved. Fair Anneli, in the miller's house, 
hears the knight singing as he rides through 
the rushes, and runs down-stairs and calls to 
him : she would go off with him if she could 
sing like that, and her clothes are fit for any 
young lady. The knight promises that he 
will teach her his song if she will go with 
him, and bids her put these fine clothes on. 
They ride to the wood. A dove calls from 
the hazel, "He will betray thee." Anneli 
asks what the dove is saying, and is answered 
much as in J and O, that it is talking about 
its frost-bitten feet and claws. The knight 
tears through the wood, to the great peril of 
Anneli's gown and limbs, and when he has 
come to the right place, spreads his cloak on 
the grass, and makes the usual request. She 
weeps when she sees eleven maids in the fir- 
tree, and receives the customary consolation : 

' Weep not too sore, my Anneli, 

'T is true thou art doomed the twelfth to be ; 

Up to the highest tip must thou go, 

And a margravine be to all below ; 

Must be an empress over the rest, 

And hang the highest of all as the best.' 

The request to be allowed three cries is lost. 
The knight tells her to cry as much as she 
pleases, he knows no one will come ; the wild 
birds will not hear, and the doves are hushed. 
She cries to father, mother, and brother. The 
brother, who is sitting over his wine at the 
inn, hears, saddles his best horse, rides furious 
ly, and comes first to a spring filled with locks 
of maid's hair and red with maid's blood ; 
then to a bush, where the knight (Riideli, 
Rudolph) is twisting his withe. He bids his 
sister be silent, for the withe is not for her; 
the villain is twisting it for his own neck, 
and shall be dragged at the tail of his horse. 

Q resembles the Swabian ballads, and pre 
sents only these variations from the regular 
story. The dove adds to the warning " Fair 
maid, be not beguiled," what we find nowhere 
else, " Yonder I see a cool spring, around 
which blood is running." The knight, to re 



move the maid's anxiety, says, " Let it talk ; 
it does not know me ; I am no such murder 
er." The end is excessively feeble. When the 
brother, a hunter as before, reaches .his sister, 
" a robber runs away," and then the brother 
takes her by the hand, conducts her to her fa 
ther's land, and enjoins her to stay at home 
and spin silk. There are no names. 

There is one feature entirely peculiar to B. 
The knight carries off the maid, as before, 
but when they come to the hazel bush there 
are eleven doves that sing this " new song : " 

' Be not beguiled, maiden, 
The knight is beguiling thee : 

' We are eleven already, 
Thou shalt be the twelfth.' 

The eleven doves are of course the spirits of 
the eleven preceding victims. The maid's 
inquiry as to what they mean is lost. The 
knight's evasion is not ingenious, but more 
likely to allay suspicion than simply saying, 
" I am no such murderer." He says, " Fear 
not : the doves are singing a song that is com 
mon in these parts." When they come to the 
spring " where blood and water are running," 
and the maid asks what strange spring is this, 
the knight answers in the same way, and per 
haps could not do better : " Fear not : there is 
in these parts a spring that runs blood and 
water." This spring is misplaced, for it oc 
curs before they enter the wood. The last 
scene in the ballad is incomplete, and goes no 
further than the brother's exclamation when 
he comes in upon the knight : " Stop, young 
knight ! Spare my sister's life." The parties 
in B are nameless. 

So again in S, which also has neither the 
knight's enchanting song nor the bloody 
spring. There are two doves, as in J, stanza 
4. The cries are addressed to mother, father, 
brother, as in N, and, as in N, again, the brother 
cocks his gun, and shoots the knight down ;* 
then calmly leads his sister home, with the 
warning against knights. 

* What will those who are so troubled about cork-heeled 
shoon in ' Sir Patrick Spens ' say to the fire-arms in L, N, 
S? 



36 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



(III.) T, the first of the third series, has 
marked signs of deterioration. Ulrich does 
not enchant Annchen by his song, arid prom 
ise to teach it to her ; he offers to teach her 
" bird-song." They walk out together, appar 
ently, and come to a hazel, with no dove; 
neither is there any spring. Annie sits down 
on the grass ; Ulrich lays his head in her lap ; 
she weeps, and he asks why. It is for eleven 
maids in the fir-tree, as so often before. Ul- 
rich's style has become much tamer: 

' Ah, Annie, Annie, dear to me, 

How soon shalt thou the twelfth one be ! ' 

She begs for three cries, and calls to her fa 
ther, to God, to her youngest brother. The 
last is sitting over the wine and hears. He 
demands of Ulrich where she is, and is told, 
Upon yon linden, spinning silk. Then ensues 
this dialogue : Why are your shoes blood-red ? 
Why not ? I have shot a dove. That dove 
my mother bare under her breast. Annie is 
laid in the grave, and angels sing over her ; 
Ulrich is broken on the wheel, and round him 
the ravens cry. 

There is no remnant or reminiscence of the 
magical singing in U. Scho'n Ulrich and Roth 
Annchen go on a walk, and come first to a 
fir-tree, then a green mead. The next scene 
is exactly as in T. Ulrich says the eleven 
maids were his wives, and that he had thrust 
his sword through their hearts. Annie asks 
for three sighs, and directs them to God, to 
Jesus, and to her youngest brother. He is 
sitting over his wine, when the sigh comes 
into the window, and Ulrich simultaneously 
in at the door. The remainder is very much 
as in T. 

V differs from U only in the names, which 
are Schb'n-Heinrich and Schbn-Annelein, and 
in the "sighs" returning to cries, which in 
voke God, father, and brother. 

W begins with a rivalry between Ulrich 



and Hanselein * for the hand of Rautendelein 
(Rautendchen). Ulrich is successful. She 
packs up her jewels, and he takes her to a 
wood, where she sees eleven maids hanging. 
He assures her she shall presently be the 
twelfth. It is then they sit down, and she 
leans her head on his breast and weeps, " be 
cause," as she says, " I must die." His re 
mark upon this, if there was any, is lost. Hoff 
mann inserts a stanza from another Silesian 
copy, in which Ulrich says, Rather than 
spare thy life, I will run an iron stake through, 
thee. She asks for three cries, and he says, 
Four, if you want. She prefers four, and calls 
to her father, mother, sister, brother. The 
brother, as he sits over the wine, hears the 
cry, and almost instantly Ulrich comes in at 
the door. He pretends to have killed a dove ; 
the brother knows what dove, and hews off 
Ulrich's head, with a speech like that in I. 
Still, as Rautendchen is brought to the grave, 
with toll of bells, so Ulrich is mounted on the 
wheel, where ravens shriek over him. 

X. Albrecht and Hanselein woo Alalein. 
She is promised to Albrecht, but Hansel gets 
her. He takes her to a green mead, spreads 
his mantle on the grass, and she sits down. 
His lying in her lap and her discovery of the 
awful tree are lost. She weeps, and he tells 
her she shall be " his eleventh." Her cries 
are condensed into one stanza : 

' Gott Vater, Sohn, Heir Jesu Christ, 
Mein jiingster Bruder, wo Du bist !/ 

Her brother rides in the direction of the voice, 
and meets Hanselein in the wood, who says 
Alalein is sitting with princes and counts. 
The conclusion is as in T, U, V. 

Y has Ansar Uleraich wooing a king's 
daughter, Annie, to the eighth year. He 
takes her to a fir-wood, then to a fir, a stump 
of a tree, a spring ; in each case bidding her 
sit down. At the spring he asks her if she 



* A variety of W, cited in Schlesische Volkslieder, p. 26, 
has, 

' Ach Ulbrich, Ulbrich, Halsemann, Halsemann, 
Lass du niich nur drei Gale schrei'n ! ' 

Grundtvig, assuming that the name is Ulbrich Halsemann, 
would account for the second and superfluous character here 



[found also in W] by a divarication of Ulrich Halsemann 
into Ulrich and Halsemann (Hanslein). Ansar, " bisher 
unverstandlicher Vorname des Hitters Uleraich " in Y (Mei- 
nert), would equally well yield Hanslein. Might not Halse 
mann possibly be an equivalent of Halsherr ? 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



37 



wishes to be drowned, and, upon her saying 
no, cuts off her head. He has not walked 
half a mile before he meets her brother. 
The brother inquires where Ulrich has left 
his sister, and the reply is, " By the green 
Rhine." The conclusion is as in W. Ulrich 
loses his head, and the brother pronounces 
the imprecation which is found there and 
inL* 

Z, which takes us back from Eastern 'Ger 
many to the Rhine, combines features from 
all the three groups. Ulrich fascinates a 
king's daughter by his song. She collects her 
gold and jewels, as in W, and goes to a 
wood, where a dove warns her that she will 
be betrayed. Ulrich appropriates her valua 
bles, and they wander about till they come 
to the Rhine. There he takes her into a wood, 
and gives her a choice between hanging and 
drowning, and, she declining both, says she 
shall die by his sword. But first she is al 
lowed three cries, to God, her parents, her 
youngest brother. The youngest brother de 
mands of Ulrich where he has left his sister. 
" Look in my pocket, and you shall find four 
teen tongues, and the last cut [reddest] of all 
is your sister's." The words were scarcely 
out of his mouth before Ulrich's sword had 
taken off his head. 

The three classes of the German ballad, it 
will be observed, have for their principal dis 
tinction that in I the maid saves her own 
life by an artifice, and takes the life of her 
treacherous suitor ; in II, she is rescued by 
her brother, who also kills the traitor ; in III, 
she dies by the villain's hand, and he by her 
brother's, or by a public execution. There 
are certain subordinate traits which are con 
stant, or nearly so, in each class. In I, A-P, 
a choice of deaths is invariably offered ; the 
maid gets the advantage of the murderer by 
persuading him to take off his coat [distorted 
in F, which has lost its conclusion] ; and, on 
her way home, she falls in with one or more 
of the robber's family, mother, brothers, ser 
vant, who interrogate her [except P, which, 
as just said, is a fragment]. Class II has sev 



eral marks of its own. All the thirteen bal 
lads [G--S], except the last, represent the 
knight as fascinating the maid by his singing ; 
in all but Q she is warned of her danger by 
a dove,f or more than one ; in all but the 
much-abridged M, N, the knight spreads his 
cloak on the grass, they sit down, and, ex 
cepting M, N, R, the unromantic service is 
repeated which she undertakes in Danish A, 
B, D, E, F, H, L, Swedish A, Norwegian A, 
B. The bloody spring occurs in some form, 
though often not quite intelligible, in H, J, 
K, L, O, P, Q, R (also in D, Y). All but 
the much-abridged M, N have the question, 
What are you weeping for ? your father's land, 
humbled pride, lost honor ? etc. ; but this 
question recurs in T, U, V, W. The cries for 
help are a feature of both the second and the 
third class, and are wanting only in Y. Class 
III differs from I, and resembles II, in having 
the cries for help, and, in the less impaired 
forms, T-W, the knight spreads his cloak, lies 
down with his head in the lady's lap, and 
asks the cause of her tears. Beyond this, and 
the changed catastrophe, the ballads of Class 
III are distinguished by what they have lost. 

Forms in which the story of this is mixed 
with that of some other German ballad remain 
to be noticed. 

A. A ballad first published in Nicolai's 
Almanach, n, 100, No 21 (1778), and since 
reprinted, under the titles, ' Liebe ohne Stand,' 
' Der Ritter und die Konigstochter,' etc., but 
never with absolute fidelity, in Wunderhorn 
(1819), I, 37 S (=Erlach, n, 120), Kretzsch- 
mer, No 72, I, 129; Mittler, No 89; Erk, 
Neue Sammlung, iii, 18, No 14 ; also, with a 
few changes, by Zuccalmaglio, No. 95, p. 199, 
as ' aus Schwaben ; ' by Erk, Liederhort, No 
28, p. 90, as " corrected from oral tradition ; " 
and as " from oral tradition," in Erk's Wun 
derhorn (1857), I, 39. Independent versions 
are given by Mittler, No 90, p. 83, from Ober- 
hessen ; Prohle, Weltliche u. geistliche Volks- 
lieder, No 5, p. 10, from the Harz ; Reiffer- 
scheid, No 18, p. 36, from Bokendorf. Erk 
refers to still another copy, five stanzas longer 



* And in ' Der Mutter Fluch,' Meinert, p. 246, a ballad 
with which Y agrees in the first two and last four stanzas. 



t There is a dove in Z, but Z, as has been said, presents 
traits of all three classes. 



38 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



than Nicolai's, from Hesse-Darmstadt, Neue 
Saramlung, iii, 19, note. 

What other ballad is here combined with 
Ulinger, it is impossible to make out. The 
substance of the narrative is that a knight 
rides singing through the reeds, and is heard 
by a king's daughter, who forthwith desires 
to go with him. They ride till the horse is 
hungry [tired] ; he spreads his cloak on the 
grass, and makes, sans fa$on, his usual re 
quest. The king's daughter sheds many tears, 
and he asks why. " Had I followed my fa 
ther's counsel, I might have been empress." 
The knight cuts off her head at the word, and 
says, Had you held your tongue, you would 
have kept your head. He throws the body 
behind a tree, with Lie there and rot ; my 
young heart must mourn [no knight, a knight, 
shall mourn over thee]. Another stanza or 
two, found in some versions, need not be par 
ticularly noticed. . 

' Stolz Sieburg,' Simrock, No 8, p. 21, from 
the Rhine, Mittler, No 88, is another and some 
what more rational form of the same stoiy. 
To the question whether she is weeping for 
Gut, Muth, Ehre, the king's daughter answers : 

' Ich wein um meine Ehre, 

Ich wollt gem wieder umkehren.' 

For this Stolz Sieburg strikes off her head, 
with a speech like that which we have just 
had, and throws it into a spring ; then re 
solves to hang himself.* 

A Dutch version of this ballad, Le Jeune, 
No 92, p. 292 ; Willems, No 72, p. 186 ; Hoff 
mann, No 29, p. 92, has less of the Halewyn in 
it, and more motive than the German, though 
less romance. " If you might have been an 
empress," says the knight, " I, a margrave's 

* ' Da lyge, feyns Lybchen, unndt fawle, 
Meyn jungk Herze muss trawren.' 

Nicolai, w 35, 36, 

' Da liege, du Hauptchen, und f aide, 
Kein Renter wird dir nachtrauern.' 

Simrock, vv 35, 36, 

are evidently derived from the apostrophe to the murder 
er's head in I, "W, Y. 

Stolz Syburg is the hero of a very different ballad, from 
the Mlinster region, Reifferscheid, No 16, p. 32 (also No 17, 
and Simrock, No 9, p. 23, ' Stolz Heinrich '). And from 
this the name, in consequence of a remote resemblance in the 



son, will marry you to-morrow." " I would 
rather lose my head than be your wife," re 
plies the lady ; upon which he cuts off her 
head and throws it into a fountain, saying, 
Lie there, smiling mouth ! Many a thousand 
pound have you cost me, and many pence of 
red gold. Your head is clean cut off. 

B. The Ulinger story is also found com 
bined with that of the beautiful ballad, ' Was- 
sermanns Braut.' f (1.) In a Transylvanian 
ballad, ' Brautmb'rder,' Schuster, Siebenbiir- 
gisch-sachsische Volkslieder, p. 57, No 54 A, 
38 vv, with variations, and p. 59, B, a fragment 
of 10 vv ; (A in a translation, Bohme, No 14, p. 
61.) A king from the Rhine sues seven years 
for a king's daughter, and does not prevail 
till the eighth. She begs her mother not to 
consent, for she has seen it in the sun that 
she shall not long be her daughter, in the 
moon that she shall drown before the year is 
out, in the bright stars that her blood shall 
be dispersed far and wide. He takes her by 
the hand, and leads her through a green wood, 
at the end of which a grave is already made. 
He pushes her into the grave, and drives a 
stake through her heart. The princess' brother 
asks what has become of his sister. " I left 
her on the Rhine, drinking mead and wine." 
" Why are your skirts so bloody ? " "I have 
shot a turtle-dove." "That turtle-dove was, 
mayhap, my sister." They spit him on a red- 
hot stake, and roast him like a fish. Lines 
1-4 of this ballad correspond to 14 of Y 
(which last agree with 1-4 of Meinert's ' Was- 
sermanns Braut ') ; 17, 18, to Y 5, 6 ; 25-34 to 
21-30 ; and we find in verse 22 the stake 
through the heart which Hoffmann has inter 
polated in W, stanza 12. 

(2.) A Silesian copy of ' Wassermanns 

story, may have been taken up by the Rhine ballad, though 
it has contributed nothing more. Margaret, a king's daugh 
ter, is wiled away by a splendid description of Stolz Syburg's 
opulence. When they have gone a long way, he tells her 
that he has nothing but a barren heath. She stabs herself 
at his feet. 

t ' Wassermans Braut,' Meinert, p. 77 ; ' Die ungliickliche 
Braut,' Hoffmann u. Richter, Schlesische V. L., p. 6, No. 2 ; 
' Konigs Tochterlein,' Erk u. Inner, vi, 6, No 4 ; ' Der Was- 
sermann,' Erk's Liederhort, p. 50, No 17. ('Die Nixen- 
braut,' " Norddeutschland," Zuccalmaglio, p. 192, No 92, 
seems to be Meinert's copy written over.) 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



39 



Braut,' cod by ffman contributed to Deutsches 
Museum, 1852, n, 164, represents the bride, 
after she has fallen into the water and has 
been recovered by the nix, as asking for three 
cries, and goes on from this point like the Ul- 
rich ballad W, the conclusion being that the 
sister is drowned before the brother comes to 
her aid.* 

* Nun schiirz dich, Gredlein,' " Forster's 
Frische Liedlein, No 66," Bohme, No 53, Uh- 
land, No 256 A, which is of the date 1549, and 
therefore older than the Nuremberg and Augs 
burg broadsides, has derived stanzas 7-9 from 
an Ulinger ballad, unless this passage is to 
be regarded as common property. Some copies 
of the ballad commonly called ' Miillertucke ' 
have also adopted verses from Ulinger, es 
pecially that in Meier's Schwabische Volks- 
lieder, No 233, p. 403. 

A form of ballad resembling English C-F, 
but with some important differences, is ex 
traordinarily diffused in Poland. There is 
also a single version of the general type of 
English A, or, better, of the first class of the 
German ballads. This version, A, Pauli, 
Piesni ludu Polskiego w Galicyi, p. 90, No 5, 
and Kolberg, Piesni ludu Polskiego, No 5, bbb, 
p. 70, runs thus. There was a man who went 
about the world wiling away young girls from 
father and mother. He had already done this 
with eight ; he was now carrying off the ninth. 
He took her to a frightful wood ; then bade 
her look in the direction of her house. She 
asked, " What is that white thing that I see 
on yon fir ? " " There are already eight of 
them," he said, " and you shall be the ninth ; 
never shall you go back to your father and 
mother. Take off that gown, Maria." Maria 
was looking at his sword. " Don't touch, 
Maria, for you will wound your pretty little 

* The remarkable Norwegian ballad of the ' Wassermanns 
Braut ' group, The Nix and Heiemo, Landstad, No 39, p. 
350, has not been unaffected by the one we are now occupied 
with. There is even a verbal contact between stanza 19, 
' Heiemo tenkte meS sjave seg : 
Tru mine sma knivar 'ki hjelper meg? ' 

and Norwegian F, stanza 9, cited by Grundtvig, iv, 4, 

Lengji sto Gullbjor, ho tenkte mas seg : 
' Kami inkje mi' runinne hjelpe meg ? ' 

t Kolberg's b, h, k, v, x, bb, cc, hh, kk, 11, nn, xx, 



hands." " Don't mind my hands, John," she 
replied, " but rather see what a bold heart I 
have ; " and instantly John's head flew off. 
Then follows a single stanza, which seems to 
be addressed to John's mother, after the man 
ner of the German A, etc. : " See, dear mother ! 
I am thy daughter-in-law, who have just put 
that traitor out of the world." There is a 
moral for conclusion, which is certainly a later 
addition. 

The other ballads may be arranged as fol 
lows, having regard chiefly to the catastrophe. 
B, Kolberg, No 5, oo : C, rr : D, ccc : E, dd : 
F, uu : G, ww : H, t : I, u : J, gg : K, mm : 
L, Waclaw z Oleska, p. 483, 2, Kolberg, p : 
L*, Kozlowski, Lud, p. 33, No iv : M, Woj- 
cicki, i, 234, Kolberg, r : N, Wojcicki, i, 82, 
Kolberg, s : O, Kolberg, d : P, ib. f : Q, pp : 
B, Wojcicki, i, 78, Kolberg, e : S, Kolberg, 
1 : T, ib. n : U, Pauli, Pjesni ludu Polskiego 
w Galicyi, p. 92, No 6, Kolberg, q : V, Kol 
berg, y : W, Wojcicki, n, 298, " J. Lipinski, 
Piesni ludu Wielkopolskiego, p. 34," Kol 
berg, ee ; X, Kolberg, a : Y, ib. z : Z, aa : 
AA, qq : BB, w ; CC, ddd : DD, m : BE, c : 
FF, o : GG, 11 : HH, ss : II, ii: JJ, ff : KK, 
tt : LL, i : MM, g*. In B-K the woman comes 
off alive from her adventure : in O-CC, she 
loses her life : in L-N there is a jumble of 
both conclusions : DD-MM are incomplete.! 

The story of the larger part of these bal 
lads, conveyed as briefly as possible, is this : 
John, who is watering horses, urges Cather 
ine,^: who is drawing water, to elope with him. 
He bids her take silver and gold enough, that 
the horse may have something to carry. Cath 
erine says her mother will not allow her to 
enter the new chamber. Tell her that you 
have a headache, says John, and she will con 
sent. Catherine feigns a headache, is put into 

yy, zz, consist of only one or two initial stanzas, containing 
no important variation. His aaa, a fragment of six stanzas, 
Pauli, p. 147, No 6, Wojcicki, n, 169, though it begins like 
the rest, sounds like a different ballad. 

The ballad in Wojcicki, i, 38, is allied with the one we 
are engaged with, and the two fragments on p. 36, p. 37 
with both this and that. 

t Anne in R, LL, and Kolberg's h : Mary in L IT, H : 
Ursula, N : both Catherine and Alice, AA. John is found 
in all but N, where there is a nameless seigneur. 



40 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



the new chamber, and absconds with John 
while her mother is asleep.* At a certain 
stage, more commonly at successive stages, 
on the high road, K, P, S, DD, II, LL, in a 
dark wood, D, P, T, X, Z, DD, EE, at a spring, 
D, K, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z, EE, II, LL, etc., 
he bids her take off, or himself takes from 
her, her " rich attire," D, P, T, V, W, X, Y, 
Z, DD, EE, her satin gown, D, T, X, DD, EE, 
her French or Turkish costume, K, P, II, 
robes of silver, K, shoes, Z, CC, FP, silk stock 
ings, T, corals, D, X, CC, EE, pearls, T, rings, 
K, O-T, X, Z, CC-FF, II, LL. In many of 
the ballads he tells her to go back to her 
mother, B-G, K, L*, M, N, Q, S, U, X, Y, 
EE, HH-LL, sometimes after pillaging her, 
sometimes without mention of this. Cather 
ine generally replies that she did not come 
away to have to go back, B, C, D, G, L*, M, 
S, U, X, Y, EE, HH, JJ, KK, LL. John 
seizes her by the hands and sides and throws 
her into a deep river [pool, water, sea] . Her 
apron [tress, AA, II, both apron and tress, O, 
petticoat, KK] is caught on a stake or stump 
of a tree, B, C, G, H, I, O, P, B, T, U, V, "W, 
Y, BB, DD, EE, II, JJ, KK [in a bush D]. 
John cuts it away with axe or sword, G, I, 
O, R, T, BB, II, JJ. She cries to him for 
help. He replies, " I did not throw you in to 
help you out," f B, C, F, P, U, V, W, X, Z, 
EE, II. Catherine is drawn ashore in a fish 
erman's net [swims ashore I, J, GG] . 

Catherine comes out from the water alive 
in B-N. The brother who plays so important 
a part in the second class of German ballads, 
appears also in a few of the Polish versions, 
B, C, D, and L*, O, P, Q, X, but is a mere 
shadow. In B 21, 22, and C 16, 17, the 
brother, who is " on the mountain," and may 
be supposed to hear the girl's cry, slides down 

* They are expressly said to go off in a carriage in I, O, 
Q, T, BB, DD, FP. Still, in I, John says, " Let the black 
horse have something to carry under us." In O, T, FF, the 
horses have a presentiment of evil to their mistress, and re 
fuse to stir. 

t One version of ' The Two Sisters,' Q, has the same 
answer : 

1 1 did not put you in with the design 
Just for to pull you out again.' 

st. 9. 

This might be called a formula in Polish ballads : something 



a silken cord, which proves too short, and the 
girl " adds her tress " ! He asks the fishermen 
to throw their nets for her. She is rescued, 
goes to church, takes an humble place behind 
the door, and, when her eyes fall on the young 
girls, melts into tears. Her apron catches in 
a bush in D : she plucks a leaf, and sends it 
down the stream to her mother's house. The 
mother says to the father, " Do you not see 
how Catherine is perishing ? " The leaf is 
next sent down stream to her sister's house, 
who says to her brother, "Do you not see 
how Catherine is perishing ? " He rides up a 
high mountain, and slides down his silken 
cord. Though one or two stanzas are lost, or 
not given, the termination was probably the 
same as in B, C. In L* 15, O 12, the brother, 
on a high mountain, hears the cry for .help, 
and slides down to his sister on a silken cord, 
but does nothing. X does not account for the 
brother's appearance : he informs the fisher 
men of what has happened, and they draw 
Catherine out, evidently dead. The brother 
hears the cry from the top of a wall in P 21, 
22 ; slides down his cord ; the sister adds her 
tress; he directs the fishermen to draw her 
out ; she is dead. Instead of the brother on 
the wall, we have a mason in Q 27 [perhaps 
" the brother on the wall " in P is a mason]. 
It is simply said that " he added " a silken 
cord : the fishermen drew out Catherine dead. 
The conclusion is equally, or more, impotent 
in all the versions in which the girl escapes 
from drowning. In G, I, J, she seats herself 
on a stone, and apostrophizes her hair, saying 
[in G, I], " Dry, my locks, dry, for you have 
had much pleasure in the river ! " She goes to 
church, takes an humble place, and weeps, in 
E, F, G, as in B, C, D. John goes scot-free 
in all these.J Not so in the more vigorous 

of the kind occurs three times in X, four times in B, five 
times in F ; in other ballads also. In Q 25, Catherine 
clutches the river bank, and John pushes away her hands. 
Compare ' The Two Sisters,' F 9, further on in this volume. 
} L, L*, M, N, as already said, confuse the two catas 
trophes. John says, in N, " Do you see that broad river * 
I will measure its depth by throwing you in." We may as 
sume that he was as good as his word. But Ursula made 
her way home through woods and forests, weeping her eyes 
out on the way. Kind souls dug a grave for her. The con 
clusion of M is absurd, but need not be particularized. G- 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



41 



ballads of tragic termination. Fierce pursuit 
is made for him. He is cut to pieces, or torn 
to pieces, O, P, S, T, Y ; broken on the wheel, 
L, U, V, W ; cleft in two, BB ; broken small 
as barley-corns, or quartered, by horses, L*, Z ; 
committed to a dungeon, to await, as we may 
hope, one of these penalties, Q, R. The bells 
toll for Catherine [the organs play for her], 
and she is laid in the grave, O-W, Y, Z, L, I/. 
There are, besides, in various ballads of this 
second class, special resemblances to other 
European forms. The man (to whom rank 
of any sort is assigned only in N *) comes 
from a distant country, or from over the bor 
der, in O, Q, R, T, DD, GG, as in English D, 
E. The maid is at a window in M, W, as in 
German G, J, M, O, P, Q, etc. In Q 2, John, 
who has come from over the border, persuades 
the maid to go with him by telling her that in 
his country "the mountains are golden, the 
mountains are of gold, the ways of silk," re 
minding us of the wonderland in Danish A, 
B, etc. After the pair have stolen away, they 
go one hundred and thirty miles, O, DD, FF ; 
thrice nine miles, Q ; nine and a half miles, T ; 
cross one field and another, M, R ; travel all 
night, GG ; and neither says a word to the 
other. We shall find this trait further on in 
French B, D, Italian B, C, D, F, G. The 
choice of deaths which we find in German A- 
F appears in J. Here, after passing through 
a silent wood, they arrive at the border of the 
(red) sea. She sits down on a stone, he on a 
rotten tree. He asks, By which death will 
you die : by my right hand, or by drowning 
in this river ? They come to a dark wood in 
AA ; he seats himself on a beech-trunk, she 
near a stream. He asks, Will you throw your 
self into the river, or go home to your mother ? 
So H, and R nearly. f She prefers death to 
returning. Previous victims are mentioned in 

has a passage of the sternest theology. While Catherine is 
struggling in the water, her father comes by. She cries to 
him to save her. He says, " My dear Catherine, you have 
loved pleasure too much. Lord Jesus grant you drown ! " 
Her mother appears, and makes the same reply to her 
daughter's appeal. There are stall-copy terminal morals to 
many of the ballads. 

* N 1, " A lord came riding from his estate to a neigh 
bor." 



T, DD, HH. When she calls from the river 
for help, he answers, T 22, You fancy you are 
the only one there ; six have gone before, and 
you are the seventh: HH 16, Swim the river; 
go down to the bottom ; six maids are there 
already, and you shall be the seventh [four, 
fifth] : DD 13, Swim, swim away, to the other 
side ; there you will see my seventh wife.J 

Other Slavic forms of this ballad resem 
ble more or less the third German class. A 
Wendish version from Upper Lusatia, Haupt 
and Schmaler, Part I, No 1, p. 27, makes Hil- 
ziuka (Lizzie) go out before dawn to cut grass. 
Holdrask suddenly appears, and says she must 
pay him some forfeit for trespassing in his 
wood. She has nothing but her sickle, her 
silver finger-ring, and, when these are rejected, 
her wreath, and that, she says, he shall not 
have if she dies for it. Holdrask, who avows 
that he has had a fancy for her seven years 
(cf. German Y, and the Transylvanian mixed 
form B), gives her her choice, to be cut to 
pieces by his sword, or trampled to death by 
his horse. Which way pleases him, she says, 
only she begs for three cries. All three are 
for her brothers. They ride round the wood 
twice, seeing nobody ; the third time Hol 
drask comes up to them. Then follows the 
dialogue about the bloody sword and the dove. 
When asked where he has left Hilzicka, "Hol 
drask is silent. The elder brother seizes him, 
the younger dispatches him with his sword. 

Very similar is a Bohemian ballad, trans 
lated in Waldau's Bohmische Granaten, n, 
25. While Katie is cutting grass, early in 
the morning, Indriasch presents himself, and 
demands some for his horse. She says, You 
must dismount, if your horse is to have grass. 
"If I do, I will take away your wreath." 
" Then God will not grant you his blessing." 
He springs from his horse, and while he gives 

t The place is high above the water in R 10, 11, as in 
English D 9, 29, C 4. 

J BB 6, " My mother said that I had seen you ; she will 
watch me closely," may be an accidental coincidence with 
Danish A 7-9, B 6-8, etc. 

The second, and more valuable, volume of Waldau's B. 
G. I have found it impossible to obtain. Reifferscheid cites 
the ballad at p. 166. 



42 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



it grass with one hand snatches at the wreath 
with the other. " Will you die, or surrender 
your wreath ? " Take my life, she says, but 
allow me three cries. Two cries reached no 
human ear, but the third cry her mother heard, 
and called to her sons to saddle, for Katie was 
culling in the wood, and was in trouble. They 
rode over stock and stone, and came to a brook 
where Indriasch was washing his hands. The 
same dialogue ensues as in the Wendish bal 
lad. The brothers hewed the murderer into 
fragments. 

A Servian ballad has fainter but unmistak 
able traces of the same tradition : Vuk, Srpske 
Narodne Pjesme, I, 282, No 385, ed. 1841 ; 
translated by Goetze, Serbische V. L., p. 99, 
by Talvj, V. L. der Serben, 2d ed., n, 172, by 
Kapper, Gesange der Serben, II, 318. Mara 
is warned by her mother not to dance with 
Thomas. She disobeys. Thomas, while danc 
ing, gives a sign to his servants to bring 
horses. The two ride off, and when they 
come to the end of a field Thomas says, 
Seest thou yon withered maple ? There thou 
shalt hang, ravens eat out thine eyes, eagles 
beat thee with their wings. Mara shrieks, 
Ah me ! so be it with every girl that does 
not take her mother's advice.* 

French. This ballad is well known in 
France, and is generally found in a form re 
sembling the English ; that is to say, the scene 
of the attempted murder is the sea or a river 
(as in no other but the Polish), and the lady 
delivers herself by an artifice. One French 
version nearly approaches Polish O-CC. 

A. ' Renauld et ses quatorze Femmes,' 44 
vv, Paymaigre, Chants populaires recueillis 
dans le pays messin, No 31, I, 140. Renauld 
carried off the king's daughter. When they 
were gone half-way, she called to him that 
she was dying of hunger (cf. German A-P). 
Eat your hand, he answered, for you will 
never eat bread again. When they had come 
to the middle of the wood, she called out that 

* A few silly verses follow in the original, in which 
Thomas treats what he had said as a jest. These are prop 
erly rejected by Talvj as a spurious appendage, 
t ' De achte de soil Helena sin, 
De achte de most he solwer sin.' 

German A b 13. 



she was dying of thirst. Drink your blood, 
he said, for you will never drink wine again. 
When they came to the edge of the wood, he 
said, Do you see that river ? Fourteen dames 
have been drowned there, and you shall be 
the fifteenth. When they came to the river- 
bank, he bade her put off her cloak, her shift. 
It is not for knights, she said, to see ladies 
in such plight; they should bandage their 
eyes with a handkerchief. This Renauld did, 
and the fair one threw him into the river. 
He laid hold of a branch ; she cut it off with 
his sword (cf. the Polish ballad, where the 
catastrophe, and consequently this act, is re 
versed). " What will they say if you go back 
without your lover ? " "I will tell them that 
I did for you what you meant to do for me." f 
" Reach me your hand ; I wall marry you Sun- 
day." 

" Marry, marry a fish, Renauld, 
The fourteen women down below." 

B. * De Dion et de la Fille du Roi,' from 
Auvergne, Ampere, Instructions, etc., 40 vv, 
p. 40, stanzas 15-24, the first fourteen consti 
tuting another ballad. :j: The pair went five or 
six leagues without exchanging a word ; only 
the fair one said, I am so hungry I could 
eat my fist. Eat it, replied Dion, for you 
never again will eat bread. Then they went 
five or six leagues in silence, save that she 
said, I am so thirsty I could drink my blood. 
"Drink it, for you never will drink wine. 
Over there is a pond in which fifteen ladies 
have had a bath, have drowned themselves, 
and you will make sixteen." Arrived at the 
pond, he orders her to take off her clothes. 
She tells him to put his sword under his feet, 
his cloak before his face, and turn to the pond ; 
and, when he has done so, pushes him in. 
Here are my keys ! he cries. " I don't want 
them ; I will find locksmiths." " What will 
your friends say ? " "I will tell them. I did 
by you as you would have done by me." 

C. * Veux-tu venir, bell' Jeanrieton,' 32 w, 

J Another version of this double ballad, but much cor 
rupted in the second part, was known to Gerard de Nerval. 
See Les Filles du Feu, CEuvres completes, v, 132. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



43 



from Poitou and Aunis,. Bujeaud, n, 232. 
When they reach the water, the fair one asks 
for a drink. The man says, incoherently 
enough, Before drinking of this white wine I 
mean to drink your blood. The stanza that 
should tell how many have been drowned be 
fore is lost. Jeanneton, having been ordered 
to strip, pushes the " beau galant " into the 
sea, while, at her request, he is pulling off her 
stockings. He catches at a branch ; she cuts 
it off, and will not hear to his entreaties. 

D. ' En revenant de la jolie Rochelle,' twelve 
two-line stanzas, Gagnon, Chansons populaires 
du Canada, p. 155. A cavalier meets three 
fair maids, mounts the fairest behind him, and 
rides a hundred leagues without speaking to 
her, at the end of which she asks to drink. 
He takes her to a spring, but when there she 
does not care to drink. The rest of the bal 
lad is pointless, and shows that the original 
story has been completely forgotten. 

E. ' Belle, allons nous dpromener,' from the 
Lyonnais, 28 vv, Champfleury, Chansons des 
Provinces, p. 172, is like C, but still more de 
fective. The pair go to walk by "la mer 
courante." There is no order for the lady 
to strip : on the contrary, she cries, De'sha- 
billez-moi, ddchaussez-moi ! and, while the 
man is drawing off her shoe, " la belle avance 
un coup de pied, le beau galant tombe dans 
1'eau." 

P. ' Allons, mie, nous promener,' 32 vv, 
Poesies populaires de la France, MS., in, fol. 
84, No 16, is like C. The lady asks the man 
to pull off her shoes before he kills her. The 
man clutches a branch ; the woman cuts it 
away. 

G. ' Le Traitre Noye*,' Chants pop. du Ve- 
lay et du Forez, Romania, X, 199, is like E, P. 

H. 4 La Fillette et le Chevalier,' Victor 
Smith, Chants pop. du Velay et du Forez, 
Romania, x, 198, resembles the common Pol 
ish ballad. Pierre rouses his love early in the 
morning, to take a ride with him. He mounts 
her on his horse, and when they come to a lone 
some wood bids her alight, for it is the last of 
her days. He plunges his sword into her heart, 
and throws her into a river. Her father and 
mother come searching for her, and are in 



formed of her fate by a shepherdess, who had 
witnessed the murder. The youngest of her 
three brothers plunges into the water, ex 
claiming, Who threw you in ? An angel de 
scends, and tells him it was her lover. A less 
romantic version, described in a note, treats of 
a valet who is tired of an amour with a ser 
vant-girl. He is judicially condemned to be 
hanged or burned. 

* La Fille de Saint-Martin de 1'Ile,' Bujeaud, 
II, 226, has the conclusion of the third class 
of German ballads. A mother incites her son 
to make away with his wife. He carries her 
off on his horse to a wheat-field [wood], and 
kills her with sword and dagger. Returning, 
he meets his wife's brother, who asks why his 
shoes are covered with blood. He says he has 
been killing rabbits. The brother replies, I 
see by your paleness that you have been kill 
ing my sister. So Gerard de Nerval, Les Filles 
du Feu, CEuvres Com., v, 134, and La Boheme 
galante (1866), p. 79 : * Rosine,' Chants pop. 
du Velay, etc., Romania, x, 197. 

The ballad is known over all North Italy, 
and always nearly in one shape. 

A. ' Monchisa,' sixty-four short verses, Ber- 
noni, Canti popolari veneziani, Puntata v, No 
2. A count's son asks Monchesa, a knight's 
daughter, in marriage in the evening, espouses 
her in the morning, and immediately carries 
her off. When they are " half-way," she 
heaves a sigh, which she says is for father and 
mother, whom she shall no more see. The 
count points out his castle ; he has taken thirty- 
six maids there, robbed them of their honor, 
and cut off their heads. " So will I do with you 
when we are there." The lady says no word 
till she is asked why she is silent ; then re 
quests the count to lend her his sword ; she 
wishes to cut a branch to shade her horse. 
The moment she gets the sword in her hand, 
she plunges it into his heart ; then throws the 
body into a ditch. On her way back, she 
meets her brother, whom she tells that she is 
looking after the assassins who have killed her 
husband. He fears it was she ; this she de 
nies, but afterwards says she must go to Rome 
to confess a great sin. There she obtains 
prompt absolution. 



44 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



B. ' La Figlia del Conte,' Adolf Wolf, Volks- 
lieder aus Venetien, No 73, a, 34 vv, b, 48 
vv. Here it is the daughter of a count that 
marries Malpreso, the son of a knight. He 
takes her to France immediately. She goes 
sixty miles (b) without speaking. She con 
fesses to her brother what she has done. 

C. Righi, Canti popolari veronesi, 58 vv, No 
94*, p. 30. The count's son marries Mam- 
presa, a knight's daughter. For thirty-six 
miles she does not speak ; after five more she 
sighs. She denies to her brother having 
killed her husband, but still says she must go 
to the pope to confess an old sin ; then owns 
what she has done. 

D. ' La Monferrina,' 48 vv, Nigra, Canzoni 
popolari del Piemonte, in Rivista Contempo- 
ranea, XXIV, 76. The lady is a Monferrina, 
daughter of a knight. After the marriage 
they travel fifty miles without speaking to one 
another. Fifty-two Monferrine have losf their 
heads ; the bridegroom does not say why. She 
goes to the Pope to confess. 

E. ' La Vendicatrice,' an incomplete copy 
from Alexandria, 18 vv only, Marcoaldi, Canti 
popolari, No 12, p. 166, like D, as far as it 
goes. Thirty-three have been beheaded before. 

P. ' La Inglese,' 40 vv, Ferraro, Canti po 
polari di Ferrara, Cento e Pontelagoscuro, No 
2, p. 14. The count's son marries an English 
girl, daughter of a knight. She never speaks 
for more than three hundred miles ; after two 
hundred more she sighs. She denies having 
killed her husband ; has not a heart of that 
kind. 

G. ' La Liberatrice,' 24 vv, Ferraro, Canti 
popolari monferrini, No 3, p. 4. Gianfleisa is 
the lady's name. When invited to go off, she 
says, If you wish me to go, lend me a horse. 
Not a word is spoken for five hundred miles. 
The man (Gilardu) points out his castle, and 
says that no one he has taken there has ever 
come back. Gianfleisa goes home without 
meeting anybody. 

' Laura,' Ferraro, C. p. di Pontelagoscuro, 
Rivista di Filologia romanza, II, 197, and C. 
p. di Ferrara, etc., p. 86, is a mixture of this 
ballad with another. Cf. ' La Maledetta,' Fer 
raro, C. p. monferrini, No 27, p. 35. 



Several other French and Italian ballads 
have common points with Renauld, Monchisa, 
etc., and for this have sometimes been improp 
erly grouped with them : e. g., ' La Fille des 
Sables,' Bujeaud, n, 177 ff. A girl sitting by 
the water-side hears a sailor sing, and asks 
him to teach her the song. He says, Come 
aboard, and I will. He pushes off, and by 
and by she begins to weep.* She says, My 
father is calling me to supper. " You will 
sup with me." " My mother is calling me to 
bed." " You will sleep with me." They go 
a hundred leagues, and not a word said, and 
at last reach his father's castle. When she is 
undressing, her lace gets into a knot. He sug 
gests that his sword would cut it. She plunges 
the sword into her heart. So ' Du Beau Ma- 
rinier,' Beaurepaire, p. 57 f, and Poesies pop- 
ulaires de la France, MS., m, fol. 59, No 
4 ; ' L'Epe*e Liberatrice,' V. Smith, Chansons 
du Velay, etc., Romania, vil, 69, nearly ; 
also ' II Corsaro,' Nigra, Rivista Contempo- 
ranea, xxiv, p. 86 ff. In ' La Monferrina In- 
contaminata,' Ferraro, C. p. m., No 2, p. 3, a 
French knight invites a girl to go off with 
him, and mounts her behind him. They ride 
five hundred miles without speaking, then 
reach an inn, after which the story is the 
same. So Bernoni, Puntata rx, No 2. 'La 
Fille du Patissier,' Paymaigre, No 30, p. 93, 
has the same conclusion. All these, except 
' La Fille des Sables,' make the girl ask for 
the sword herself, and in all it is herself that 
she kills. 

The Spanish preserves this ballad in a sin 
gle form, the earliest printed in any language, 
preceding, by a few years, even the German 
broadsides G, H. 

' Romance de Rico Franco,' 36 vv, " Cancio- 
nero de Romances, s. a., fol. 191 : Cane, de 
Rom., ed. de 1550, fol. 202 : ed. de 1555, fol. 
296 ; " Wolf and Hofmann, Primavera, No 
119, n, 22 : Duran, No 296, i, 160 : Grimm, 
p. 252 : Depping and Galiano, 1844, n, 167 : 
Ochoa, p. 7. The king's huntsmen got no 
game, and lost the falcons. They betook thein- 

* So far there is agreement in 'La Fille du Prince,' Pay 
maigre, No 32, p. 106 ; Poesies pop. de la France, MS., m, 
fol. 133. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



45 



selves to the castle of Maynes, where was a 
beautiful damsel, sought by seven counts and 
three kings. Rico Franco of Aragon carried 
her off by force. Nothing is said of a rest in 
a wood, or elsewhere ; but that something has 
dropped out here is shown by the correspond 
ing Portuguese ballad. The lady wept. Rico 
Franco comforted her thus : If you are weep 
ing for father and mother, you shall never see 
them more ; and if for your brothers, I have 
killed them all three. I am not weeping for 
them, she said, but because I know not what 
my fate is to be. Lend me your knife to cut 
the fringes from my mantle, for they are no 
longer fit to wear. This Rico Franco did, and 
the damsel thrust the knife into his breast. 
Thus she avenged father, mother, and broth 
ers. 

A Portuguese ballad has recently been ob 
tained from tradition in the island of St. 
George, Azores, which resembles the Spanish 
closely, but is even curter : A, 'Romance de 
Dom Franco,' 30 vv ; B, ' Dona Inez,' a frag 
ment of 18 vv ; Braga, Cantos populares do 
Archipelago aQoriano, No 48, p. 316, No 49, 
p. 317: Hartung's Romanceiro, n, 61, 63. 
Dona Inez was so precious in the eyes of her 
parents that they gave her neither to duke 
nor marquis. A knight who was passing [the 
Duke of Turkey, B] took a fancy to her, and 
stole her away. When they came to the mid 
dle of the mountain ridge on which Dona Inez 
lived, the knight stopped to rest, and she be 
gan to weep. From this point Portuguese A, 
and B so far as it is preserved, agree very 
nearly with the Spanish.* 

Certain Breton ballads have points of con 
tact with the Halewyn-Ulinger class, but, like 
the French and Italian ballads mentioned on 
the preceding page, have more important di 
vergences, and especially the characteristic dis 
tinction that the woman kills herself to pre 
serve her honor. 1. ' Jeanne Le Roux,' Luzel, 

* The Asturian romance communicated in two copies by 
Amador de los Rios to Jahrbuch fur rom. u. eng. Literatur, 
Hi, 285, No 2, and the Portuguese ' Romance de Romei- 
rinha,' Braga, Romanceiro, No 9, p. 24, ' A Romeira,' Al- 
meida-Garrett, in, 11, are not parallels, though they have 
been cited as such. 

t Magyar Nepkolte'si Gyiijtemeny. Uj Folyam, szerkesz- 



I, 324 ff, in two versions ; Poesies pop. de la 
France, MS., in, fol. 182. The sieur La 
Tremblaie attempts the abduction of Jeanne 
from the church immediately after her mar 
riage ceremony. As he is about to compel 
her to get up on the crupper of his horse, she 
asks for a knife to cut her bridal girdle, which 
had been drawn too tight. He gives her the 
choice of three, and she stabs herself in the 
heart. La Tremblaie remarks, I have car 
ried off eighteen young brides, and Jeanne is 
the nineteenth, words evidently taken from 
the mouth of a Halewyn, and not belonging 
here. 2. Le Marquis de Coatredrez, Luzel, I, 
336 ff, meets a young girl on the road, going 
to the pardon of Gue*odet, and forces her on 
to his horse. On the way and at his house 
she vainly implores help. He takes her to the 
garden to gather flowers. She asks for his 
knife to shorten the stems, and kills herself. 
Early in the morning the door of the chateau 
is broken in by Kerninon, foster-brother of 
the victim, who forces Coatredrez to fight, 
and runs him through. 3. ' Rozmelchon,' Lu 
zel, I, 308 ff, in three versions, and, 4, 'La Fil- 
leule de du Guesclin,' Villemarque', Barzaz- 
Breiz, 6th ed., 212 ff, are very like 2. The 
wicked Rozmelchon is burned in his chateau 
in Luzel's first copy ; the other two do not 
bring him to punishment. Villemarqu^'s vil 
lain is an Englishman, and has his head cloven 
by du Guesclin. 5. ' Marivonnic,' Luzel, I, 
350 ff, a pretty young girl, is carried off by 
an English vessel, the captain of which shows 
himself not a whit behind the feudal seign 
eurs in ferocity. The young girl throws her 
self into the water. 

Magyar. Five versions from recent tradi 
tions, all of them interesting, are given in 
Arany and Gyulai's collection of Hungarian 
popular poetry, ' Molnar Anna,' I, 137 ff, 
Nos l-5.f A, p. 141, No 3. A man, name 
less here, but called in the other versions 

tik ^s kiadjak Arany Laszld es Gyulai Pal. Collection of 
Magyar Popular Poetry, New Series, Pest, 1872, 2 vols. 
Aigner, has blended Nos 4 and 3 (C, A) in 'Martin und 
Aennchen,' Ungarische Volksdichtungen, p. 170, and has 
translated No 1 (B), at p. 120, ' Molnar Anna,' in each case 
obscuring or omitting one or two traits which are impor 
tant for a comparative view. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



Martin Ajg6, or Martin Sajg6, invites Anna 
Miller to go off with him. She refuses ; she 
has a young child and a kind husband. 
" Come," he says ; " I have six palaces, and 
will put you in the seventh," and persists so 
long that he prevails at last. They went a 
long way, till they came to the middle of a 
green wood. He asked her to sit down in the 
shade of a branchy tree (so all) ; he would 
lie in her lap, and she was to look into his 
head (a point found in all the copies). But 
look not up into the tree, he said. He went 
to sleep (so B, D) ; she looked up into the 
tree, and saw six fair maids hanging there 
(so all but E). She thought to herself, He 
will make me the seventh ! (also B, D). A 
tear fell on the face of the " brave sir," and 
waked him. You have looked up into the 
tree, he said. " No, but three orphans passed, 
and I thought of my child." He bade her 
go up into the tree. She was not used to go 
first, she said. He led the way. She seized 
the opportunity, tore his sword from its sheath 
(so C), and hewed off his head. She then 
wrapped herself in his cloak, sprang upon his 
horse, and returned home, where (in all the 
copies, as in this) she effected a reconcilement 
with her husband. B, p. 138, No 2, agrees 
closely with the foregoing. Martin Ajg6 calls 
to Anna Miller to come with him a long way 
into the wilderness (so D, E). He boasts of 
no palaces in this version. He calls Anna a 
long time, tempts her a long time, drags her 
on to his horse, and carries her off. The scene 
under the tree is repeated. Anna pretends 
(so D, E) that the tear which drops on Mar 
tin's face is dew from the tree, and he retorts, 
How can it be dew from the tree, when the 
time is high noon ? His sword falls out of 
its sheath as he is mounting the tree, and he 
asks her to hand it to him. She throws it 
up (so E), and it cuts his throat in two. 
Rightly served, Martin Ajg<5, she says : why 
did you lure me from home? C, p. 144,' 
No 4. Martin Sajg6 tells Anna Miller that 
he has six stone castles, and is building a 
seventh. It is not said that he goes to sleep. 
As in A, Anna pulls his sword from the scab 
bard. D, p. 146, No 5. Here reappears the 



very important feature of the wonderland : 
" Come, let us go, Anna Miller, a long jour 
ney into the wilderness, to a place that flows 
with milk and honey." Anna insists, as be 
fore, that Martin shall go up the tree first. 
He puts down his sword ; she seizes it, and 
strikes off his head with one blow. E, p. 137, 
No 1, is somewhat defective, but agrees essen 
tially with the others. Martin Ajg6 calls 
Anna ; she will not come ; he carries her off. 
He lets his sword fall as he is climbing, and 
asks Anna to hand it up to him. She throws 
it up, as in B, and it cuts his back in two. 

Neus, in his Ehstnische Volkslieder, main 
tains the affinity of ' Kallewisohnes Tod,' No 
2, p. 5, with the Ulinger ballads, and even of 
his Holepi with the Dutch Halewyn. The 
resemblance is of the most distant, and what 
there is must be regarded as casual. The same 
of the Finnish ' Kojoins Sohn,' Schroter, Fin- 
nische Runen, p. 114, 115; l Kojosen Poika,' 
Lonnrot, Kanteletar, p. 279. 

In places where a ballad has once been 
known, the story will often be remembered 
after the verses have been wholly or partly 
forgotten, and the ballad will be resolved into 
a prose tale, retaining, perhaps, some scraps of 
verse, and not infrequently taking up new 
matter, or blending with other traditions. Nat 
urally enough, a ballad and an equivalent tale 
sometimes exist side by side. It has already 
been mentioned that Jamieson, who had not 
found this ballad in Scotland, had often come 
upon the story in the form of a tale inter 
spersed with verse. Birlinger at one time (1860) 
had not been able to obtain the ballad in the 
Swabian Oberland (where it has since been 
found in several forms), but only a story 
agreeing essentially with the second class of 
German ballads. According to this tradition, 
a robber, who was at the same time a porten 
tous magician, enticed the twelve daughters 
of a miller, one after another, into a wood, 
and hanged eleven of them on a tree, but 
was arrested by a hunter, the brother of the 
twelve, before he could dispatch the last, and 
was handed over to justice. The object of 
the murders was to obtain blood for magical 
purposes. This story had, so to speak, natu- 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



47 



ralized itself in the locality, and the place 
where the robber's house had been and that 
where the tree had stood were pointed out. 
The hunter-brother was by some conceived 
of as the Wild Huntsman, and came to the 
rescue through the air with a fearful baying 
of dogs. (Birlinger in Volksthiimliches aus 
Schwaben, I, 368, No 592, and Germania, 1st 
Sen, v, 372.) 

The story of the German ballad P has at 
tached itself to localities in the neighborhood 
of Weissenbach, Aargau, and is told with mod 
ifications that connect it with the history of 
the Guggi-, or Schongauer-, bad. A rich man 
by lewd living had become a leper. The devil 
put it into his head that he could be cured by 
bathing in the blood of twelve [seven] pure 
maidens. He seized eleven at a swoop, while 
they were on their way to church, and hanged 
them, and the next day enticed away a miller's 
daughter, who was delivered from death as in 
the ballad. A medicinal spring rose near the 
fatal tree. (Rochholz, I, 22.) No pure version 
of this ballad has been obtained in the Harz 
region, though a mixed form has already been 
spoken of ; but ' Der Reiter in Seiden,' Prb'hle, 
Marchen fur die Jugend, No 32, p. 136, which 
comes from the western Harz, or from some 
place further north, on the line between Kyff- 
haiiser and Hamburg, is, roughly speaking, 
only ' Gert Olbert ' turned into prose, with a 
verse or two remaining. ' Der betrogene Be- 
triiger,' from Miihlbach, Miiller's Siebenburg- 
ische Sagen, No 418, p. 309, has for its hero 
a handsome young man, addicted to women, 
who obtains from the devil the power of mak 
ing them follow his piping, on the terms that 
every twelfth soul is to be the devil's share. 
He had taken eleven to a wood, and hanged 
them on a tree after he had satisfied his de- 
The brother of a twelfth substituted 



sire. 



: himself for his sister, dressed in her clothes, 
snatched the rope from the miscreant, and ran 
him up on the nearest bough ; upon which a 
voice was heard in the wind, that cried The 
twelfth soul is mine. Grundtvig, in his En- 
gelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 249, gives his 
recollections of a story that he had heard in 
his youth which has a catastrophe resembling 



that of English C-F. A charcoal burner had 
a way of taking up women beside him on his 
wagon, and driving them into a wood, where 
he forced them to take off their clothes, then 
killed them, and sunk them with heavy stones 
in a deep moss. At last a girl whom he had 
carried off in this way got the advantage of 
him by inducing him to turn away while she 
was undressing, and then pushing him into 
the moss. Something similar is found in the 
conclusion of a robber story in Grundtvig's 
Danske Folkeminder, 1861, No 30, p. 108, 
and in a modern Danish ballad cited in Dan- 
marks gamle Folkeviser, iv, 24, note.** 

Another Transylvanian tale, Schuster, p. 
433, has a fountain, a thirsty bride, and doves 
(two or three) that sing to her, traits which 
have perhaps been derived from some Ulinger 
ballad ; but the fountain is of an entirely dif 
ferent character, and the doves serve a differ 
ent purpose. The tale is a variety of ' Fitch- 
ers Vogel,' Grimms, No 46, and belongs to the 
class of stories to which Bluebeard,' from its 
extensive popularity, has given name. The 
magician of * Fitcher's Vogel ' and of ' Blue 
beard' becomes, or remains, a preternatural 
being (a hill-man) further north, as in Grundt 
vig's Gamle danske Minder, 1857, No 312, p. 
182. There is a manifest affinity between 
these three species of tales and our ballad 
(also between the German and Danish tales 
and the Scandinavian ballad of 'Rosmer'), 
but the precise nature of this affinity it is im 
possible to expound. ' Bluebeard,' * La Barbe 
Bleue,' Perrault, Histoires ou Contes du temps 
passe", 1697, p. 57 (LefSvre), has a special re 
semblance to the German ballads of the second 
class in the four calls to sister Anne, which 
represent the cries to father, mother, and broth 
er, and agrees with these ballads as to the 
means by which the death of the malefactor 
is brought about. 

Looking back now over the whole field cov 
ered by this ballad, we observe that the frame 
work of the story is essentially the same in 
English, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian ; 
in the first class of the German ballads ; in 
Polish A; in French, Italian, Spanish, Por 
tuguese, and Magyar. The woman delivers 



48 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



herself from death by some artifice,* and re 
taliates upon the man the destruction he had 
intended for her. The second form of the Ger 
man ballad attributes the deliverance of the 
woman to her brother, and also the punish 
ment of the murderer. The third form of the 
German ballad makes the woman lose her life, 
and her murderer, for the most part, to suffer 
the penalty of the law, though in some cases 
the brother takes immediate vengeance. Polish 
B-K may be ranked with the second German 
class, and O-CC still better with the third ; 
but the brother appears in only a few of these, 
and, when he appears, counts for nothing. The 
Wendish and the Bohemian ballad have the 
incident of fraternal vengeance, though other 
wise less like the German. The Servian bal 
lad, a slight thing at best, is still less like, but 
ranks with the third German class. The old 
est Icelandic copy is altogether anomalous, and 
also incomplete, but seems to imply the death 
of the woman : later copies suffer the woman 
to escape, without vengeance upon the mur 
derer. 

It is quite beyond question that the third 
class of German ballad is a derivation from 
the second.f Of the versions T-Z, Z alone has 
preserved clear traits of the marvellous. A 
king's daughter is enticed from home by Ul- 
rich's singing, and is warned of her impending 
fate by the dove, as in Class II. The other 
ballads have the usual marks of degeneracy, 
a dropping or obscuring of marvellous and 
romantic incidents, and a declension in the 
rank and style of the characters. T, to be 
sure, has a hazel, and Y a tree-stump and a 
spring, and in T Ulrich offers to teach Ann- 
chen bird-song, but these traits have lost all 
significance. Knight and lady sink to ordinary 
man and maid ; for though in Y the woman is 
called a king's daughter, the opening stanzas 
of Y are borrowed from a different ballad. 
Ulrich retains so much of the knight that he 
rides to Annchen's house, in the first stanza 



* Very little remains of the artifice in Polish A. The 
idea seems to be that the girl pretends to be curious about 
the sword in order to get it into her hands. But the whole 
story is told in ten stanzas. 

t I accept and repeat Grundtvig's views as to the relation 



of T, but he apparently goes on foot with her 
to the wood, and this is the rule in all the 
other ballads of this class. As Ulrich has lost 
his horse, so the brother, in T, U, V, X, has 
lost his sword, or the use of it, and in all these 
(also, superfluously, in W) Ulrich, like a com 
mon felon as he was, is broken on the wheel. 

That the woman should save her life by her 
own craft and courage is certainly a more 
primitive conception than that she should de 
pend upon her brother, and the priority of 
this arrangement of the plot is supported, if 
not independently proved, by the concurrence, 
as to this point, of so many copies among so 
many nations, as also by the accordance of 
various popular tales. The second German 
form must therefore, so far forth, be regarded 
as a modification of the first. Among the sev 
eral devices, again, which the woman employs 
in order to get the murderer into her power, 
the original would seem to be her inducing him 
to lay his head in her lap, which gives her the 
opportunity (by the use of charms or runes, in 
English A, Danish G, Norwegian F, H, and 
one form of B) to put him into a deep sleep. 
The success of this trick no doubt implies 
considerable simplicity on the part of the vic 
tim of it; not more, however, than is else 
where witnessed in preternatural beings, whose 
wits are frequently represented as ho match for 
human shrewdness. Some of the Scandina 
vian ballads are not liable to the full force of 
this objection, whatever that may be, for they 
make the knight express a suspicion of treach 
ery, and the lady solemnly asseverate that she 
will not kill [fool, beguile] him in his sleep. 
And so, when he is fast bound, she cries out, 
Wake up, for I will not kill thee in thy 
sleep ! This last circumstance is wanting in 
hardly any of the Scandinavian ballads, where 
as the previous compact is found only in Dan 
ish E, P, G, H, L, Swedish A, Norwegian A, 
and the Icelandic ballad. Not occurring in 
any of the older Danish copies, it may be that 

of the three forms of the story. And with regard to the his 
tory of the ballad generally, this is but one of many cases in 
which much or most of the work had been done to my hand 
in Danmarks gamle Folkeviser. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



49 



the compact is an after-thought, and was in 
serted to qualify the improbability. But the 
lady's equivocation is quite of a piece with 
Memering's oath in ' Ravengaard and Memer- 
ing,' Grundtvig, No 13, and King Dietrich's 
in the Dietrichsaga, linger, c. 222, p. 206.* 

English A and all the Danish, Swedish, and 
Norwegian ballads employ the stratagem of 
lulling the man to sleep, but these are not the 
only ballads in which the man lays his head 
in the woman's lap. This trait is observed 
in nearly all German ballads of the second 
and third class, in all the well-preserved ones, 
and also in the Magyar ballad. With regard 
to the German ballads, however, it is purpose 
less (for it does not advance the action of the 
drama in the least), and must be regarded as 
a relic of an earlier forin.f English B-P and 
all the French ballads dispose of the traitor 
by a watery death. Thejscene js_shifted from 
a wood to a sea-cpastj pool, or river bank, per 
haps to suit the locality to which the ballad 
had wandered. In English B, where, appar 
ently under the influence of other ballads, $ the 
lady is forced to wade into water up to her 
chin, the knight is pushed off his horse when 
bending over to give a last kiss for which he 
had been asked ; in English C-F and French 
A, B, the man is induced to turn his face to 
save the woman's modesty ; in French C-E he 
is made to pull off her stockings or shoes, and 
then, while off his guard, pitched into a sea or 
river. This expedient is sufficiently trivial ; 
but still more so, and grazing on the farcical, 
is that which is made use of in the Dutch bal 
lad and those of the German first class, the 
woman's persuading the man to take off his 
fine coat lest it should be spattered with her 
blood, and cutting off his head with his own 
sword while he is thus occupied. The Span 
ish and Portuguese ballads make the lady bor- 

* Memering was required by his adversary to swear that 
he knew not of the sword Adelring, and took his oath that 
he knew of nothing but the hilt being above ground, which 
was accepted as satisfactory. Presently he pulls Adelring 
out of the ground, into which he had thrust the blade, and, 
being accused of perjury, triumphantly rejoins that he had 
sworn that he knew of nothing but the hilt being above ground. 
Dietrich does the same in his duel with Sigurd Swain. 

t Magyar A is entirely peculiar. Apparently the man 
7 



row the knight's knife to remove some of the 
trimming of her dress, and in the Italian she 
borrows his sword to cut a bough to shade her 
horse ; for in Italian the halt in the wood is 
completely forgotten, and the last half of the 
action takes place on horseback. All these 
contrivances plainly have less claim to be re 
garded as primary than that of binding the 
murderer after he has been put to sleep. 

The knight in English A is called an Elf, 
and as such is furnished with an enchanting 
horn, which is replaced by a harp of similar 
properties in B, where, however, the male 
personage has neither name nor any kindToT 
designation^ The elf-horn of English A is 
again represented by the seductive song of the 
Dutch ballad and of German G-R and Z. 
Though the lady is not lured away in the 
Scandinavian ballads by irresistible nmsic, 
Danish A, B, Norwegian A, B, and Swedish 
D present to her the prospect of being taken 
to an elf-land, or elysium, and there are traces 
of this in Danish G and D also, and in Pol 
ish Q. The tongue that talks after the head 
is off, in the Dutch ballad and in German A, 
B, C, B, is another mark of an unearthly 
being. Halewyn, Ulver, Gert Olbert, like the 
English knight, are clearly supernatural, 
though of a nondescript type. The elf in 
English A is not to be interpreted too strictly, 
for the specific elf is not of a sanguinary turn, 
as these so conspicuously are. He is compar 
atively innocuous, like the hill-man Young 
Akin, in another English ballad, who likewise 
entices away a woman by magical music, but 
only to make her his wife. But the elf-knight 
and the rest seem to delight in bloodshed for 
its own sake ; for, as Grundtvig has pointed 
out, there is no other apparent motive for 
murder in English A, B, the Norwegian bal 
lads, Danish A, Swedish A, B, or German 

lays his head in the woman's lap that he may know, by the 
falling of her tears, when she has disobeyed his command 
not to look into the tree. This is like 'Bluebeard/ and 
rather subtle for a ballad. 

t ' Child Waters,' ' The Fair Flower of Northumberland.' 
The murderer has a horn in Swedish C, D, as also in 
the Dutch Halewyn and the German A, B, C, E, and the 
horn may be of magical power, but it is not distinctly de 
scribed as such. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



A-E.* This is true again, for one reason or 
another, of others of the German ballads, of 
the French, of most of the Italian, and of the 
Hungarian ballads. 

The nearest approach to the Elf-knight, 
Halewyn, etc., is perhaps Quintalin, in the 
saga of Samson the Fair. He was son of the 
miller Galin. Nobody knew who his mother 
was, but many were of the mind that Galin 
might have had him of a "goddess," an elf 
or troll woman, who lived under the mill force. 
He was a thief, and lay in the woods ; was 
versed in many knave's tricks, and had also 
acquired agreeable arts. He was a great mas 
ter of the harp, and would decoy women into 
the woods with his playing, keep them as 
long as he liked, and send them home preg 
nant to their fathers or husbands. A king's 
daughter, Valentina, is drawn on by his music 
deep into the woods, but is rescued by a 
friendly power. Some parts of her dress and 
ornaments, which she had laid off in her rapid 
following up of the harping, are afterwards 
found, with a great quantity of precious things, 
in the subaqueous cave of Quintalin's mother, 
who is a complete counterpart to Grendel's, 
and was probably borrowed from Be6wulf.f 
This demi-elf Quintalin is a tame personage 
by the side of Grendel or of Halewyn. Hale 
wyn does not devour his victims, like Grendel : 
Quintalin does not even murder his. He al 
lures women with his music to make them serve 
his lust. We may infer that he would plun 
der them, for he is a notorious thief. Even 
two of the oldest Danish ballads, B, C, and 
again Danish I and Swedish C, make the 

* The scenery of the halting-place in the wood the 
bloody streams in Danish A, B, D, H, L, K, the blood-girt 
spring in German H, J, K, L, O, P, Q is also, to say the 
least, suggestive of something horribly uncanny. These are 
undoubtedly ancient features, though the spring, as the Dan 
ish editor observes, has no longer any significancy in the Ger 
man ballads, because in all of them the previous victims are 
said to have been hanged. 

t The saga in Bjorner's Nordiska Kampadater, c. 5-7. 

J Danish B, I, L, and even A, make the knight suggest to 
the lady that she should get her gold together while he is 
saddling his horse ; but this is a commonplace found in other 
cases of elopement, and by itself warrants no conclusion as to 
the knight's rapacity. See ' Samson,' Grundtvig, No 6, C 
5 ; ' Eibold og Guldborg,' No 82, C 13, E 14, etc. ; ' Redse- 



treacherous knight as lecherous as bloody, and 
so with German J, K, L, O, P, Q, R, S, and 
Italian A, B, C, B, P. This trait is wanting 
in Danish D, where, though traces of the 
originally demonic nature of the knight re 
main, the muckle gold of the maids already 
appears as the motive for the murders. In the 
later Danish B-H, K, L, and Swedish Q, D, 
the original elf or demon has sunk to a re 
morseless robber, generally with brothers, sis 
ters, or underlings for accomplices.^ This 
is preeminently his character in English C- 
F, in nearly all the forty Polish ballads, and 
in the two principal ballads of the German 
second class, G, H, though English D, Ger 
man H, and Polish Q retain a trace of the 
supernatural : the first in the charm by means 
of which the knight compels the maid to quit 
her parents, the second in the bloody spring, 
and the last in the golden mountains. There 
is nothing that unequivocally marks the rob 
ber in the other German ballads of the second 
class and in those of the third. The question 
' Weinst du um deines Vaters Gut ? ' in I-L, 
O-S, T-W, is hardly decisive, and only in W 
and Z is it expressly said that the maid had 
taken valuable things with her (as in Swed 
ish D, Norwegian A, B, English D-F). J-L, 
O-S, give us to understand that the lady had 
lost her honor, but in all the rest, except the 
anomalous Z, the motive for murder is insuffi 
cient. || 

The woman in these ballads is for the most 
part nameless, or bears a stock name to which 
no importance can be attached. Not so with 
the names of the knight. Most of these are 



lille og Medelvold,' No 271, A 21, B 20 ; 272, Bilag 3,,st. 8 ; 
270, 18, etc. 

So perhaps a Polish ballad in Wojcicki, i, 38, akin to 
the other John and Katie ballads. 

|| It is well known that in the Middle Ages the blood of 
children or of virgins was reputed a specific for leprosy (see, 
e. g., Cassel in the Weimar Jahrbiicher, i, 408.) Some have 
thought to find in this fact an explanation of the murders 
in these ballads and in the Bluebeard stories, and, according 
to Rochholz, this theory has been adopted into popular tra 
dition in the Aargau. So far as this cycle of ballads is con 
cerned, there is as much ground for holding that the blood 
was wanted to cure leprosy as for believing that the gold was 
wanted for aurum potabile. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



51 



peculiar, and the Northern ones, though su 
perficially of some variety, have yet likeness 
enough to tempt one to seek for a common 
original. Grundtvig, with considerable diffi 
dence, suggests Oldemor as a possible ground- 
form. He conceives that the R of some of the 
Scandinavian names may be a relic of a fore 
going Herr. The initial H would easily come 
or go. Given such a name as Hollemen (Dan 
ish C), we might expect it to give place to 
Halewyn, which is both a family and a local 
name in Flanders, if the ballad should pass 
into the Low Countries from Denmark, a der 
ivation that Grundtvig is far from asserting. 
So Ulinger, a local appellation, might be sub 
stituted for the Ulver of Danish A. Grundt 
vig, it must be borne in mind, declines to be 
responsible for the historical correctness of 
this genealogy, and would be still less willing 
to undertake an explanation of the name Ol 
demor. 

In place of Oldemor, Professor Sophus 
Bugge, in a recent article, marked by his char 
acteristic sharp-sightedness and ingenuity, has 
proposed Hollevern, Holevern, or Olevern as 
the base-form of all the Northern names for 
the bloody knight, and he finds in this name 
a main support for the entirely novel and 
somewhat startling hypothesis that the ballad 
we are dealing with is a wild shoot from the 
story of Judith and Holofernes.* His argu 
ment, given as briefly as possible, is as follows. 

That the Bible story was generally known 
in the Middle Ages no one would question. It 
was treated in a literary way by an Anglo- 
Saxon poet, who was acquainted with the 
scriptural narrative, and in a popular way by 
poets who had no direct acquaintance with 
the original.f The source of the story in the 
ballad must in any case be a tradition many 

* Det philologisk-historiske Samfunds Mindeskrift i Air 
ledning af dets femogtyveaarige Virksomhed, 1854-79, Bi- 
drag til den nordiske Balladedigtnings Historic, p. 75 ff. 

t Bugge cites the Old German Judith, Miillenhoff u. 
Scherer, Denkmaler, 2d ed., No 37, p. 105, to show how the 
Bible story became modified under a popular treatment. 

J Holef'ern might doubtless pass into Halewyn, but there 
is not the slightest need of Holefern to account for Halewyn. 
Halewyn, besides being a well-known local and family ap 
pellation, is found in two other Dutch ballads, one of which 



times removed from the biblical story ; that 
much should be changed, much dropped, and 
much added is only what would be expected. 

Beginning the comparison with ' Judith ' 
with this caution, it is first submitted that 
Holofernes can be recognized in most of the 
Scandinavian and German names of the 
knight. The v of the proposed base-form is 
preserved in Ulver, Halewyn, and probably in 
the English Elf-knight. It is easy to explain 
a v's passing over to g, as in Ulinger, Adelger, 
and especially under the influence of the very 
common names in -ger. Again, v might easily 
become b, as in Olbert, or m, as in Hollemen, 
Olmor ; and the initial R of Rulleman, Ro- 
mor, etc., may have been carried over from a 
prefixed Herr.J 

The original name of the heroine has been 
lost, and yet it is to be noticed that Gert Ol- 
bert's mother, in German A, is called Fru 
Jutte. 

The heroine in this same ballad is named 
Helena (Linnich in P) ; in others (German 
C, D, E), Odilia. These are names of saints, 
and this circumstance may tend to show that 
the woman in the ballad was originally con 
ceived of as rather a saint than a secular char 
acter, though in the course of time the story 
has so changed that the devout widow who 
sought out her country's enemy in his own 
camp has been transformed into a young maid 
who is enticed from home by a treacherous 
suitor. 

It is an original trait in the ballad that the 
murderer, as is expressly said in many copies, 
is from a foreign land. According to an Eng 
lish version (E), he comes from the north, as 
Holofernes does, "venit Assur ex montibus 
ab aquilone " (Jud. xvi, 5). 

The germ of this outlandish knight's blood- 

(Lootens and Feys, p. 66, No 38 ; Hoffmann, p. 46, No 11) 
has no kind of connection with the present, and is no more 
likely to have derived the name from this than this from 
that. It shall not be denied that Adelger, Hilsinger, Rulle- 
mann, Reimvord might have sprung from or have been sug 
gested by Holofern, under the influence of familiar termina 
tions, but it may be remarked that Hildebrand, Ravengaard, 
Valdemar, Rosmer, if they had occurred in any version, 
would have occasioned no greater difficulty. 



52 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



thirstiness is found in the truculent part that 
Holofernes plays in the Bible, his threats and 
devastations. Tfeat the false suitor appears 
without companions is in keeping with the 
ballad style of representation ; yet we might 
find suggestions of the Assyrian's army in the 
swains, the brothers, the stable-boy, whom the 
maid falls in with on her way home. 

The splendid promises made in many of the 
ballads might have been developed from the 
passage where Holofernes, whose bed is de 
scribed as wrought with purple, gold, and 
precious stones, says to Judith, Thou shalt be 
great in the house of Nebuchadnezzar, and 
thy name shall be named in all the earth (xi, 
21). 

In many forms of the ballad, especially the 
Dutch and the German, the maid adorns her 
self splendidly, as Judith does : she even wears 
some sort of crown in Dutch A 16, German 
D 8, as Judith does in x, 3, xvi, 10 (mit- 
ram). 

In the English D, B, F, the oldest Danish, 
A, and the Polish versions, the maid, like 
Judith, leaves her home in the night. 

The Piedmontese caste", Italian B 1 [there 
is a castle in nearly all the Italian ballads, and 
also in Dutch B], may remind us of Hole- 
femes' castra. 

The knight's carrying off the maid, lifting 
her on to his horse in many copies, may well 
come from a misunderstanding of elevaverunt 
in Judith x, 20 : Et cum in faciem ejus inten- 
disset, adoravit eum, prosternens se super ter- 
ram. Et elevaverunt earn servi Holofernis, 
jubente domino suo.* 

In German A Gert Olbert and Helena are 
said to ride three days and nights, and in 
Danish D the ride is for three days ; and we 
may remember that Judith killed Holofernes 
the fourth day after her arrival in his camp. 

The place in which the pair alight is, ac 
cording to German G 20, a deep dale, and 
this agrees with the site of Holofernes' camp 
in the valley of Bethulia. There is a spring or 
stream in many of the ballads, and also a 

* The Old German poem makes Holofernes kindle with 
desire for Judith the moment he sees her, and he bids his 
men bring her to his tent. They lift her up and bring her in. 



spring in the camp, in which Judith bathes 
(xii, 7). 

Most forms of the ballad make the knight, 
after the halt, inform the maid that she is to 
die, as many maids have before her in the 
same place ; e. g., German G 7 : 

' Der Ulinger hat eylff Jungfrawen gehangen, 
Die zwolfft hat er gefangen.' f 

This corresponds with the passage in Judith's 
song (xvi, 6), Dixit se . . . infantes meos 
d a r e in prsedam etvirgenes incaptiv- 
i t a t e m : but it is reasonable to suppose that 
the ballad follows some version of the Bible 
words that varied much from the original. 
The incident of the maid's lousing and tous- 
ing her betrayer's hair, while he lies with his 
head in her lap, may have come from Judith 
seizing Holofernes by the hair before she kills 
him, but the story of Samson and Delilah may 
have had influence here. 

According to many German versions, the 
murderer grants the maid three cries before 
she dies. She invokes Jesus, Mary, and her 
brother. Or she utters three sighs, the first to 
God the Father, the second to Jesus, the third 
to her brother. These cries or sighs seem to 
take the 'place of Judith's prayer, Confirma 
me, Domine Deus Israel (xiii, 7), and it may 
also be well to remember that Holofernes 
.granted Judith, on her request, permission to 
go out in the night to pray. 

The Dutch, Low-German, Scandinavian, and 
other versions agree in making the woman kill 
the knight with his own sword, as in Judith. 
The Dutch and Low-German [also Danish F, 
Swedish A] have preserved an original trait 
in making the maid hew off the murderer's 
head. English and French versions dispose of 
the knight differently : the maid pushes him 
into sea or river. Perhaps, in some older 
form of the story, after the head was cut off, 
the trunk was pushed into the water : cf . Ju 
dith xiii, 10: Abscidit caput ejus et . . . evol- 
vit corpus ejus truncum. The words appre- 
hendit comam capitis ejus (xiii, 9) have their 

t It should be observed that these words are from the 
dove's warning. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



53 



parallel in Dutch A, 33 : " Zy nam bet hoofd 
al by het haer." The Dutch ballad makes the 
maid carry the head with her. 

" Singing and ringing " she rode through 
the wood : Judith sings a song of praise to the 
Lord after her return home. 

In English C-F, May Colven comes home 
before dawn, as Judith does. The Dutch A 
says, When to her father's gate she came, she 
blew the horn like a man. Compare Judith 
xiii, 13 : Et dixit Judith a longe custodibus 
murorum, Aperite portas ! 

The Dutch text goes on to say that when 
the father heard the horn he was delighted at 
his daughter's return : and Judith v, 14, Et 
factum est, cum audissent viri vocem ejus, vo- 
caverunt presbyteros civitatis. 

The conclusion of Dutch A is that there was 
a banquet held, and the head was set on the 
table. ' So Judith causes Holofernes' head to 
be hung up on the city wall, and after the 
enemy have been driven off, the Jews hold a 
feast. 

The Icelandic version, though elsewhere 
much mutilated, has a concluding stanza which 
certainly belongs to the ballad : 

Asa went into a holy cell, 
Never did she harm to man. 

This agrees with the view taken of the hero 
ine of the ballad as a saint, and with the Bible 
account that Judith lived a chaste widow 
after her husband's demise. 

Danish D is unique in one point. The rob 
ber has shown the maid a little knoll, in which 
the " much gold " of the women he has mur 
dered lies. When she has killed him, the 
maid says, " /shall have the much gold," and 
takes as much as she can carry off. Compare 
with this Holofernes putting Judith into his 
treasury (xii, 1),* her carrying off the cono- 
poaum (xiii, 10), and her receiving from the 
people all Holofernes' gold, silver, clothes, 
jewels, and furniture, as her share of the plun 
der of the Assyrian camp (xv, 14). It is, 



perhaps, a perversion of this circumstance that 
the robber in German G, H, is refused per 
mission to keep his costly clothes. 

English D seems also to have preserved 'a 
portion of the primitive story, when it makes 
the maid tell her parents in the morning all 
that has happened, whereupon they go with 
her to the sea-shore to find the robber's body. 
The foundation for this is surely the Bible 
account that Judith makes known her act to 
the elders of the city, and that the Jews go 
out in the morning and fall on the enemv's 
camp, in which Holofernes' body is lying. In 
Swedish C the robber's sisters mourn over his 
body, and in Judith xiv, 18 the Assyrians 
break out into loud cries when they learn of 
Holofernes' death. 

In all this it is simply contended that the 
story of Judith is the remote source of the 
ballad, and it is conceded that many of the 
correspondences which have been cited may 
be accidental. Neither the Latin text of Ju 
dith nor any other written treatment of the 
story of Judith is supposed to have been 
known to the author of the ballad. The 
knowledge of its biblical origin being lost, the 
story would develop itself in its own way, ac 
cording to the fashion of oral tradition. And 
so the pious widow into whose hands God gave 
over his enemies is converted into a fair maid 
who is enticed by a false knight into a wood, 
and who kills him in defence of her own life. 

A similar transformation can be shown else 
where in popular poetry. The little Katie of 
certain northern ballads (see Grundtvig, No 
101) is a maid among other maids who pre 
fers death to dishonor ; but was originally 
Saint Catherine, daughter of the king of 
Egypt, who suffered martyrdom for the faith 
under the Emperor Maxentius. All the ver 
sions of the Halewyn ballad which we possess, 
even the purest, may be far removed from 
the primitive, both as to story and as to met 
rical form. New features would be taken up, 
and old ones would disappear. One copy has 



* Simply because he had no other apartment at his dis 
position. Shall we add, the Polish mother putting her 



daughter into the " new room," in which she kept her valu 
ables '! 



54 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



preserved genuine particulars, which another 
has lost, but Dutch tradition has kept the 
capital features best of all.* 

Professor Bugge's argument has been given 
with an approach to fulness out of a desire 
to do entire justice to the distinguished au 
thor's case, though most of the correspondences 
adduced by him fail to produce any effect upon 
ray mind. 

The case is materially strengthened by the 
Dutch text C (' Roland'), which was not ac 
cessible at the time Bugge's paper was writ- 
ten. The name Roland is not so close to Hol- 
ofern as Halewyn, but is still within the range 
of conceivable metamorphosis. The points of 
coincidence between Dutch C and the story of 
Judith are these : The woman, first making an 
elaborate toilet,f goes out to seek the man, 
who is spoken of as surrounded with soldiers ; 
she is challenged on the way ; finds Roland 
lying on his bed, which he proposes she shall 
share (or lose her life) ; J she cuts off his head, 
which, after her return home, she exposes from 
her window. 

If this was the original form of the Dutch 
ballad, and the Dutch ballad is the source from 
which all the other ballads have come, by 
processes of dropping, taking up, and trans 
forming, then we may feel compelled to admit 
that this ballad might be a wild shoot from 
the story of Judith. Any one who bears in 
inind the strange changes which stories un 
dergo will hesitate to pronounce this impossi- 

* Bugge holds that the ballad was derived by the Scandi 
navians from the Germans, more precisely by the Danes 
from a Low German form. This, he says, would follow from 
what he has maintained above, and he finds support for his 
view in many particular traits of Norse copies. Thus, one of 
the Norwegian names for the murderer is Alemarken. The 
first three syllables are very near to the Danish Oldemor ; 
but -ken seems to be the German diminutive suffix, and can 
only be explained by the ballad having come from Germany. 

t This toilet derives importance solely from the agreement 
with Judith x, 3 : for the rest it is entirely in the ballad 
style. Compare the toilets in ' Hafsfrun,' Afzelius, No 92, 
in, 148, Arwidsson, No 150, 11, 320, Wigstrom, Folkdiktning, 
No 2, p. 11, Landstad, No 55, p. 494 : ' Guldsmedens Dat- 
ter,' Grundtvig, No. 245, iv, 481 ff, Wigstrom, ib., No 18, p. 
37, Landstad, No 43, p. 437 : Torkilds Riim, Lyngbye, Faer- 
0iske Qvseder, 534, 535, Afzelius, in, 202 : ' Stolts Karin,' 
Arwidsson, No 63, I, 388 : ' Liti Kerstis hevn,' Landstad, No 
67, p. 559 = ' Lord Thomas and Fair Annet ' : in many of 
which there is a gold crown. There is a man's toilet in 
Grundtvig, No 207, iv, 201. 



ble. What poor Ophelia says of us human 
creatures is even truer of ballads : " We know 
what we are, but know not what we may 
be." 

But when we consider how much would have 
to be dropped, how much to be taken up, and 
how much to be transformed, before the He 
brew " gest " could be converted into the 
European ballad, we naturally look for a less 
difficult hypothesis. It is a supposition at 
tended with less difficulty that an indepen 
dent European tradition existed of a half- 
human, half-demonic being, who possessed an 
irresistible power of decoying away young 
maids, and was wont to kill them after he got 
them into his hands, but who at last found 
one who was more than his match, and lost 
his own life through her craft and courage. 
A modification of this story is afforded by the 
large class of Bluebeard tales. The" Quin- 
talin story seems to be another variety, with 
a substitution of lust for bloodthirst. The 
Dutch ballad may have been affected by some 
lost ballad of Holofern, and may have taken 
up some of its features, at least that of carry 
ing home Halewyn's [Roland's] head, which 
is found in no other version. || 

A a is translated by Grundtvig in Engelske 
og skotske Folkeviser, No 37, p. 230 : B b in 
the same, No 36, p. 227: C a, b, D a, b, 
blended, No 35, p. 221. A, by Rosa Warrens, 
Schottische V. L. der Vorzeit, No 1, p. 1 : 
Gerhard, p. 15. C b, by Rosa Warrens, No 

| Bugge would naturally have seen the Assyrian scouts 
that Judith falls in with (x, 11) in Roland's father, mother, 
and brother, all of whom hail the maid as she is making 
for Roland's quarters (C 30-38) ; still more " Holofernes ja- 
cebat in lecto" (xiii, 4), in " Roland die op zijn bedde lag," 
C39. 

Judith xiv, 1 : " Suspendite caput hoc super muros 
nostros." The cutting off and bringing home of the head, as 
need hardly be said, is not of itself remarkable, being found 
everywhere from David to Beowulf, and from Beowulf to 
' Sir Andrew Barton.' 

|| Dutch B, which, as before said, has been completely re 
written, makes the comparison with Holofernes : 

34 ' Ik heb van't leven hem beroofd, 
in mynen schoot heb ik zyn hoofd, 
hy is als Holofernes gelooft.' 

37 Zy reed dan voort als Judith wys, 
zoo regt nae haer vaders paleis, 
daer zy wierd ingehaeld met eer en prys. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



55 



34, p. 148 : Wolf, Halle der Volker, I, 38, ham, p. 244, by Knortz, Lied. u. Rom. Alt- 
Hausschatz, 225. C, D, etc., as in Ailing- Englands, No 4, p. 14. 



a. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i, 22. b. 
Motherwell's MS., p. 563. 

1 FAIR lady Isabel sits in her bower sewing, 

Aye as the gowans grow gay 
There she heard an elf-knight blawing his horn. 
The first morning in May 

2 ' If I had yon horn that I hear blawing, 
And yon elf -knight to sleep in my bosom.' 

3 This maiden had scarcely these words spoken, 
Till in at her window the elf-knight has luppen. 

4 ' It 's a very strange matter, fair maiden,' said 

he, 
' I canna blaw my horn but ye call on me. 

5 l But will ye go to yon greenwood side ? 

If ye canna gang, I will cause you to ride.' 

6 He leapt on a horse, and she on another, 
And they rode on to the greenwood together. 



7 ' Light down, light down, lady Isabel,' said he, 
' We are come to the place where ye are to 

die.' 

8 ' Hae mercy, hae mercy, kind sir, on me, 
Till ance my dear father and mother I see.' 

9 ' Seven king's-daughters here hae I slain, 
And ye shall be the eight o them.' 

10 ' O sit down a while, lay your head on my 

knee, 
That we may hae some rest before that I die.' 

11 She stroakd him sae fast, the nearer he did 

creep, 
Wi a sma charm she lulld him fast asleep. 

12 Wi his ain sword-belt sae fast as she ban him, 
Wi his ain dag-durk sae sair as she dang him. 

13 ' If seven king's-daughters here ye hae slain, 
Lye ye here, a husband to them a'.' 



B 



a. Buchan's MSS, n, fol. 80. b. Buchan's Ballads of 
the North of Scotland, n, 201. c. Motherwell's MS., p. 561. 
d. Harris MS., No 19. 

1 THERE came a bird out o a bush, 

On water for to dine, 
An sighing sair, says the king's daughter, 
' O wae 's this heart o mine ! ' 

2 He 's taen a harp into his hand, 

He 's harped them all asleep, 
Except it was the king's daughter, 
Who one wink couldna get. 

3 He 's luppen on his berry-brown steed, 

Taen 'er on behind himsell, 
Then baith rede down to that water 
That they ca Wearie's Well. 



4 ' Wide in, wide in, my lady fair, 

No harm shall thee befall ; 
Oft times I 've watered my steed 
Wi the waters o Wearie's Well.' 

5 The first step that she stepped in, 

She stepped to the knee ; 
And sighend says this lady fair, 
1 This water 's nae for me.' 

6 ' Wide in, wide in, my lady fair, 

No harm shall thee befall ; 
Oft times I 've watered my steed 
Wi the water o Wearie's Well.' 

7 The next step that she stepped in, 

She stepped to the middle ; 
' 0,' sighend says this lady fair, 
I 've wat my gowden girdle.' 



56 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



8 ' Wide in, wide in, my lady fair, 

No harm shall thee befall ; 
Oft times have I watered my steed 
Wi the water o Wearie's Well.' 

9 The next step that she stepped in, 

She stepped to the chin ; 
' O,' sighend says this lady fair, 
' They sud gar twa loves twin.' 

10 ' Seven king's-daughters I Ve drownd there, 

In the water o Wearie's Well, 
And I '11 make you the eight o them, 
And ring the common hell.' 

11 ( Since I am standing here,' she says, 

' This dowie death to die, 



One kiss o your comely mouth 
I 'm sure wad comfort me.' 

12 He louted him oer his saddle how, 

To kiss her cheek and chin ; 

She 's taen him in her arms twa, 

An thrown him headlong in. 

13 ' Since seven king's daughters ye Ve drowned 

there, 

In the water o Wearie's Well, 
I'll make you bridegroom to them a', 
An ring the bell mysell.' 

14 And aye she warsled, and aye she swam, 

And she swam to dry Ian ; 
She thanked God most cheerfully 
The dangers she oercame. 







a. Herd's MSS, i, 166. b. Herd's Ancient and Modern 
Scottish Songs, 1776, i, 93. c. Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 
67, = b " collated with a copy obtained from recitation." 

1 FALSE Sir John a wooing came 

To a maid of beauty fair ; 
May Colven was this lady's name, 
Her father's only heir. 

2 He wood her butt, he wood her ben, 

He wood her in the ha, 
Until he got this lady's consent 
To mount and ride awa. 

3 He went down to her father's bower, 

Where all the steeds did stand, 
And he 's taken one of the best steeds 
That was in her father's land. 

4 He 's got on and she 's got on, 

And fast as they could flee, 
Until they came to a lonesome part, 
A rock by the side of the sea. 

5 ' Loup off the steed,', says false Sir John, 

' Your bridal bed you see ; 
For I have drowned seven young ladies, 
The eight one you shall be. 

6 ' Cast off, cast off, my May Colven, 

All and your silken gown, 



For it 's oer good and oer costly 
To rot in the salt sea foam. 

7 ' Cast off, cast off, my May Colven, 

All and your embroiderd shoen, 
For they 're oer good and oer costly 
To rot in the salt sea foam.' 

8 ' turn you about, false Sir John, 

And look to the leaf of the tree, 
For it never became a gentleman 
A naked woman to see.' 

9 He turnd himself straight round about, 

To look to the leaf of the tree ; 
So swift as May Colven was 
To throw him in the sea. 

10 ' O help, O help, my May Colven, 

O help, or else I '11 drown ; 
I '11 take you home to your father's bower, 
And set you down safe and sound.' 

11 ' No help, no help, false Sir John, 

No help, nor pity thee ; 

Tho seven king's-daughters you have drownd, 
But the eight shall not be me.' 

12 So she went on her father's steed, 

As swift as she could flee, 
And she came home to her father's bower 
Before it was break of day. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



57 



13 Up then and spoke the pretty parrot : 

' May Colven, where have you been ? 
What has become of false Sir John, 
That woo'd you so late the streen ? 

14 ' He woo'd you butt, he woo'd you ben, 

He woo'd you in the ha, 
Until he got your own consent 
For to mount and gang awa.' 

15 ' hold your tongue, my pretty parrot, 

Lay not the blame upon me ; 



Your cup shall be of the flowered gold, 
Your cage of the root of the tree.' 

16 Up then spake the king himself, 

In the bed-chamber where he lay : 
' What ails the pretty parrot, 
That prattles so long or day?' 

17 ' There came a cat to my cage door, 

It almost a worried me, 
And I was calling on May Colven 
To take the cat from me.' 



D 



a. Sharpe's Ballad Book (1823), No 17, p. 45. b. Bu- 
chan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, n, 45. c. Mother- 
well's Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. 21, No. xxiv, one stanza. 

1 O HEARD ye of a bloody knight, 

Lived in the south country ? 
For he has betrayed eight ladies fair 
And drowned them in the sea. 

2 Then next he went to May Collin, 

She was her father's heir, 
The greatest beauty in the land, 
I solemnly declare. 

3 ' I am a knight of wealth and might, 

Of townlands twenty-three ; 
And you '11 be lady of them all, 
If you will go with me.' 

4 ' Excuse me, then, Sir John,' she says ; 

' To wed I am too young ; 
Without I have my parents' leave, 
With you I darena gang.' 

5 ' Your parents' leave you soon shall have, 

In that they will agree ; 
For I have made a solemn vow 
This night you'll go with me.' 

6 From below his arm he pulled a charm, 

And stuck it in her sleeve, 
And he has made her go with him, 
Without her parents' leave. 

7 Of gold and silver she has got 

With her twelve hundred pound, 
8 



And the swiftest steed her father had 
She has taen to ride upon. 

8 So privily they went along, 

They made no stop or stay, 

Till they came to the fatal place 

That they call Bunion Bay. 

9 It being in a lonely place, 

And no house there was nigh, 
The fatal rocks were long and steep, 
And none could hear her cry. 

10 ' Light down,' he said, ' fair May Collin, 

Light down and speak with me, 
For here I 've drowned eight ladies fair, 
And the ninth one you shall be.' 

11 ' Is this your bowers and lofty towers, 

So beautiful and gay ? 
Or is it for my gold,' she said, 
' You take my life away ? ' 

12 ' Strip off,' he says, ' thy jewels fine, 

So costly and so brave, 
For they are too costly and too fine 
To throw in the sea wave.' 

13 ' Take all I have my life to save, 

O good Sir John, I pray ; 
Let it neer be said you killed a maid 
Upon her wedding day.' 

14 ' Strip off,' he says, ' thy Holland smock, 

That 's bordered with the lawn, 
For it 's too costly and too fine 
To rot in the sea sand.' 



58 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



15 ' O turn about, Sir John,' she said, 

' Your back about to me, 
For it never was comely for a man 
A naked woman to see.' 

16 But as he turned him round about, 

She threw him in the sea, 
Saying, ' Lie you there, you false Sir John, 
Where you thought to lay me. 

17 ' lie you there, you traitor false, 

Where you thought to lay me, 
For though you stripped me to the skin, 
Your clothes you 've got with thee.' 

18 Her jewels fine she did put on, 

So costly, rich and brave, 
And then with speed she mounts his steed, 
So well she did behave. 

19 That lady fair being void of fear, 

Her steed being swift and free, 
And she has reached her father's gate 
Before the clock struck three. 

20 Then first she called the stable groom, 

He was her waiting man ; 
Soon as he heard his lady's voice 
He stood with cap in hand. 

21 ' Where have you been, fair May Collin ? 

Who owns this dapple grey ? ' 
' It is a found one,' she replied, 
' That I got on the way.' 

22 Then out bespoke the wily parrot 

Unto fair May Collin : 
' What have you done with false Sir John, 
That went with you yestreen ? ' 



23 ' O hold your tongue, my pretty parrot, 

And talk no more to me, 
And where you had a meal a day 
O now you shall have three.' 

24 Then up bespoke her father dear, 

From his chamber where he lay : 
' What aileth thee, my pretty Poll, 
That you chat so long or day ? ' 

25 ' The cat she came to my cage-door, 

The thief I could not see, 
And I called to fair May Collin, 
To take the cat from me.' 

26 Then first she told her father dear 

The deed that she had done, 
And next she told her mother dear 
Concerning false Sir John. 

27 ' If this be true, fair May Collin, 

That you have told to me, 
Before I either eat or drink 
This false Sir John I '11 see.' 

28 Away they went with one consent, 

At dawning of the day, 
Until they came to Carline Sands, 
And there his body lay. 

29 His body tall, by that great fall, 

By the waves tossed to and fro, 
The diamond ring that he had on 
Was broke in pieces two. 

30 And they have taken up his corpse 

To yonder pleasant green, 
And there they have buried false Sir John, 
For fear he should be seen. 



E 



J. H. Dixon, Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the 
Peasantry of England, p. 74. 

1 AN outlandish knight came from the north 

lands, 

And he came a-wooing to me ; 
He told me he 'd take me unto the north lands, 
And there he would marry me. 



2 ' Come, fetch me some of your father's gold, 

And some of your mother's fee, 
And two of the best nags out of the stable, 
Where they stand thirty and three.' 

3 She fetched him some of her father's gold, 

And some of her mother's fee, 
And two of the best nags out of the stable, 
Where they stood thirty and three. 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



59 



4 She mounted her on her milk-white steed, 

He on the dapple grey ; 
They rode till they came unto the sea-side, 
Three hours before it was day. 

5 ' Light off, light off thy milk-white steed, 

And deliver it unto me ; 
Six pretty maids have I drowned here, 
And thou the seventh shalt be. 

6 ' Pull off, pull off thy silken gown, 

And deliver it unto me ; 
Methinks it looks too rich and too gay 
To rot in the salt sea. 

7 ' Pull off, pull off thy silken stays, 

And deliver them unto me ; 
Methinks they are too fine and gay 
To rot in the salt sea. 

8 'Pull off, pull off thy Holland smock, 

And deliver it unto me ; 
Methinks it looks too rich and gay 
To rot in the salt sea.' 

9 ' If I must pull off my Holland smock, 

Pray turn thy back unto me ; 
For it is not fitting that such a ruffian 
A naked woman should see.' 

10 He turned his back towards her 

And viewed the leaves so green ; 
She catched him round the middle so small, 
And tumbled him into the stream. 

11 He dropped high and he dropped low, 

Until he came to the side ; 



' Catch hold of my hand, my pretty maiden, 
And I wall make you my bride.' 

12 ' Lie there, lie there, you false-hearted man, 

Lie there instead of me ; 
Six pretty maids have you drowned here, 
And the seventh has drowned thee.' 

13 She mounted on her milk-white steed, 

And led the dapple grey ; 
She rode till she came to her own father's hall, 
Three hours before it was day. 



14 The parrot being in the window so high, 

Hearing the lady, did say, 
' I 'm afraid that some ruffian has led 

astray, 
That you have tarried so long away.' 



you 



15 ' Don't prittle nor prattle, my pretty parrot, 

Nor tell no tales of me ; 

Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 
Although it is made of a tree.' 

16 The king being in the chamber so high, 

And hearing the parrot, did say, 
' What ails you, what ails you, my pretty parrot, 
That you prattle so long before day ? ' 

17 ' It 's no laughing matter,' the parrot did say, 

' That so loudly I call unto thee, 
For the cats have got into the window so high, 
And I 'm afraid they will have me.' 

18 ' Well turned, well turned, my pretty parrot, 

Well turned, well turned for me ; 
Thy cage shall be made of the glittering gold, 
And the door of the best ivory.' 



F 

Roxbnrghe Ballads, m, 449. 

1 ' Go fetch me some of your father's gold, 

And some of your mother's fee, 
And I '11 carry you into the north land, 
And there I '11 marry thee.' 

2 She fetchd him some of her father's gold, 

And some of her mother's fee ; 
She carried him into the stable, 

Where horses stood thirty and three. 



3 She leapd on a milk-white steed, 

And he on a dapple-grey ; 
They rode til they came - to a fair river's 

side, 
Three hours before it was day. 

4 ' O light, light, you lady gay, 

O light with speed, I say, 
For six knight's daughters have I drowned 

here, 
And you the seventh must be.' 



60 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



5 ' Go fetch the sickle, to crop the nettle 

That grows so near the brim, 
For fear it should tangle my golden locks, 
Or freckle my milk-white skin.' 

6 He fetchd the sickle, to crop the nettle 

That grows so near the hrim, 
And with all the strength that pretty Polly had 
She pushd the false knight in. 

7 ' Swim on, swim on, thou false knight, 

And there bewail thy doom, 
For I don't think thy cloathing too good 
To lie in a watry tomb.' 

8 She leaped on her milk-white steed, 

She led the dapple grey ; 
She rid till she came to her father's house, 
Three hours before it was day. 



9 ' Who knocked so loudly at the ring ? ' 

The parrot he did say ; 
' O where have you been, my pretty Polly, 
All this long summer's day ? ' 

10 ' O hold your tongue, parrot, 

Tell you no tales of me ; 
Your cage shall be made of beaten gold, 
Which is now made of a tree.' 

11 O then bespoke her father dear, 

As he on his bed did lay : 
' O what is the matter, my parrot, 
That you speak before it is day ? ' 

12 ' The cat 's at my cage, master, 

And sorely frighted me, 
And I calld down my Polly 
To take the cat away.' 



A. Burden. Song xix of Forbes 1 s ' Cantus,' Aber 
deen, 1682, 3d ed., has, as pointed out by 
Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. Ix, nearly the same 
burden : The gowans are gay, The first morn 
ing of May. And again, a song in the Tea 
Table Miscellany, as remarked by Buchan, 
There gowans are gay, The first morning of 
May : p. 404 of the 12th ed., London, 1763. 

b. No doubt furnished to Motherwell by Buchan, 
as a considerable number of ballads in this 
part of his MS. seem to have been. 
3 2 . Then in. 8 1 . kind sir, said she. 
10 2 . That we may some rest before I die. 
II 1 . the near. 13 2 . to them ilk ane. 

1 is given by Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. Ix, 
but apparently to improve metre and secure 
rhyme, thus : 

Lady Isabel sits in her bouir sewing, 
She heard an elf-knight his horn blowing. 

B b. Buchan' s printed copy differs from the man 
uscript very slightly, except in spelling. 

4 3 , 6 8 . Aft times hae I. 

5 8 . And sighing sair says. 7 s , 9 3 . And sigh 
ing says. 

14 2 . Till she swam. 14 s . Then thanked. 14*. 
she 'd. 



c. Like A b, derived by Motherwell from Buchan. 

4 1 , 6 1 , 8 1 . wade in, wade in. 
14 3 . And thanked. 

Dixon, Scottish Traditional Versions of An 
cient Ballads, p. 63, printing B from the man 
uscript, makes one or two trivial changes. 

d is only this fragment. 

4 3 Mony a time I rade wi my brown foal 
The water o Wearie's Wells, 

' Leave aff, leave aff your gey mantle, 

It 's a' gowd but the hem ; 
Leave aff, leave [aff], it 's far owre gude 

To weet i the saut see faem.' 



5 She wade in, an he rade in, 

Till it took her to the knee ; 
Wi sighin said that lady gay 
' Sic wadin 's no for me.' 

* '# * * 

9 He rade in, and she wade in, 
Till it took her to the chin ; 
Wi sighin said that ladie gay 
' I '11 wade nae farer in.' 

10 s ' Sax king's dochters I hae drowned, 
An the seventh you sail be.' 



4. LADY ISABEL AND THE ELF-KNIGHT 



61 



13 ' Lie you there, you fause young man, 
Where you thought to Ifty me.' 

C b. The printed copy follows the manuscript with 
only very trifling variations : Colvin for Col- 
ven ; 13 1 , up then spak ; 16 4 , ere day ; 17 2 , al 
most worried. 

c. 2 1>2 . he 's courted. 2 8 . Till once he got. 
Between 2 and 3 is inserted : 

She 's gane to her father's coffers, 

Where all his money lay, 
And she 's taken the red, and she 's left 
the white, 

And so lightly as she tripped away. 

3 1 She 's gane down to her father's stable, 
8 And she 's taken the best, and she 's left 
the warst. 

4 He rode on, and she rode on, 

They rode a long summer's day, 
Until they came to a broad river, 
An arm of a lonesome sea. 

58,4 < p or j t > g seven ki n g' s daughters I have 

drowned here, 

And the eighth I '11 out make with 
thee.' 

6 1>2 ' Cast off, cast off your silks so fine, 
And lay them on a stone.' 

7 1 ' 2 ' 8 ' Cast off, cast off your holland smock, 

And lay it on this stone, 
For it 's too fine.' . . 

9 M She 's twined her arms about his waist, 
And thrown him into 

10 1 ' 2 ' O hold a grip of me, May Colvin, 
For fear that I should ' 

3 father's gates * and safely I '11 set you 
down. 

t 
11 ' O lie you there, thou false Sir John, 

lie you there,' said she, 
' For you lie not in a caulder bed 
Than the ane you intended for me.' 

12 8 . father's gates. 4 . At the breaking of the 
day. 



13*. yestreen. 

Between 13 and 14 is inserted : 

Up then spake the pretty parrot, 
In the bonnie cage where it lay : 

' O what hae ye done with the false Sir 

John, 
That he behind you does stay?' 

15 8 ' 4 'Your cage will be made of the beaten 

gold, 
And the spakes of ivorie.' 

17 1 ' 2 ' It was a cat cam . . . 

I thought 't would have ' . . . 

D a. 2 1 . Colin. 

b. Buchan's copy makes many slight changes 

which are not noticed here. 
I 2 , west countrie. 
After 1 is inserted : 

All ladies of a gude account 

As ever yet were known ; 
This traitor was a baron knight, 

They calld him fause Sir John. 

After 2 : 

' Thou art the darling of my heart, 

I say, fair May Colvin, 
So far excells thy beauties great 

That ever I hae seen.' 

3 2 . Hae towers, towns twenty three. 
7 2 . five hunder. 7 8 , The best an steed. 
8 8 . fatal end. 8 4 . Binyan's Bay. 
12 2 . rich and rare. 12*. sea ware. 
After 12: 

Then aff she 's taen her jewels fine, 
And thus she made her moan : 

' Hae mercy on a virgin young, 
I pray you, gude Sir John.' 

4 Cast aff, cast aff, fair May Colvin, 

Your gown and petticoat, 
For they 're too costly and too fine 

To rot by the sea rock.' 

13*. Before her. 14 4 . to toss. 18 8 . her steed. 

23 8 . What hast thou made o fause. 

28 3 . Charlestown sands. Sharpe thinks Car- 



62 



5. GIL BRENTON 



line Sands means Carlinseugh Sands on the 
coast of Forfarshire. 
After 30 : 

Ye ladies a', wherever you be, 
That read this mournful song, 

I pray you mind on May Colvin, 
And think on fause Sir John. 

Aff they 've taen his jewels fine, 
To keep in memory ; 



And sae I end my mournful sang 
And fatal tragedy. 

c. MotherwelV s one stanza is : 

heard ye eer o a bloody knight 
That livd in the west countrie ? 

For he has stown seven ladies fair, 
And drownd them a' in the sea. 

E. 3 2 . of the. 17 2 . But so. 



GIL BRENTON 



A. a. 'Gil Brenton,' Jamieson Brown MS., fol. 34. E. Elizabeth Cochrane's song-book, No 112. 
b. ' Chil Brenton,' William Tytler Brown MS., No 3. 

P. a. ' Lord Brangwill,' MotherwelPs MSS, p. 219. 

B. ' Cospatrick,' Scott's Minstrelsy, ii, 117 (1802). b. 'Lord Bengwill,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ap 

pendix, p. xvi. 

C. 'We were sisters, we were seven,' Cromek's Re 
mains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, p. 207. G. 'Bothwell,' Herd's Ancient and Modern Scots 



D. 'Lord Dingwall,' Buchan's Ballads of the North 
of Scotland, i, 204. 



Songs, p. 244. 
H. Kinloch MSS, v, 335. 



EIGHT copies of this ballad are extant, four 
of them hitherto unpublished. A a, No 16 in 
the Jaraieson-Brown MS., is one of twenty bal 
lads written down from 'the recitation of Mrs 
Brown of Falkland, by her nephew, Robert 
Scott, in 1783, or shortly before. From these 
twenty thirteen were selected, and, having 
first been revised by Mrs. Brown, were sent, 
with two others, to William Tytler in the year 
just mentioned. William Tytler's MS. has 
disappeared, but a list of the ballads which it 
contained, with the first stanza of each, is given 
by Dr Anderson, in Nichols's Illustrations of 
the Literary History of the Eighteenth Cent 
ury, vn, 176. B is the ' Cospatrick ' of the 
Border Minstrelsy, described by Scott as taken 
down from the recitation of a lady (known to 
be Miss Christian Rutherford, his mother's 
sister) " with some stanzas transferred from 



Herd's copy, and some readings adopted from 
a copy in Mrs Brown's manuscript under the 
title of Child Brenton," that is, from A b. 
C purports to be one of a considerable num 
ber of pieces, " copied from the recital of a 
peasant- woman of Galloway, upwards of ninety 
years of age." Though overlaid with verses of 
Cunningham's making (of which forty or fifty 
may be excided in one mass) and though re 
touched almost everywhere, both the ground 
work of the story and some genuine lines 
remain unimpaired. The omission of most of 
the passage referred to, and the restoration of 
the stanza form, will give us, perhaps, a thing 
of shreds and patches, but still a ballad as 
near to genuine as some in Percy's Reliques 
or even Scott's Minstrelsy. D and F are 
(the former presumably, the second certainly) 
from recitation of the first quarter of this 



5. GIL BRENTON 



63 



century. E is one of the few ballads in Eliz 
abeth Cochrane's song-book, and probably of 
the first half of the last century. G, the ear 
liest printed form of the ballad, appeared in 
Herd's first collection, in the year 1769. H 
was taken down from recitation by the late 
Dr Hill Burton in his youth. 

A, B, and C agree in these points : A bride, 
not being a maid, looks forward with alarm 
to her wedding night, and induces her bower- 
woman to take her place for the nonce. The 
imposture is detected by the bridegroom, 
through the agency of magical blankets, 
sheets, and pillows, A; or of blankets, bed, 
sheet, and sword, B ; or simply of the Billie 
Blin, C. (The sword is probably an edi 
torial insertion ; and Jamieson, Illustrations 
of Northern Antiquities, p. 343, doubts, but 
without sufficient reason, the Billie Blin.) 
The bridegroom has recourse to his mother, 
who demands an explanation of the bride, 
and elicits a confession that she had once upon 
a time encountered a young man in a wood, 
who subjected her to violence. Before they 
parted, he gave her certain tokens, which he 
enjoined her to be very careful of, a lock 
of his hair, a string of beads, a gold ring, and 
a knife. B omits the knife, and C the beads. 
The mother goes back to her son, and asks 
what he had done with the tokens she had 
charged him never to part with. He owns 
that he had presented them to a lady, one 
whom he would now give all his possessions to 
have for his wife. The lady of the greenwood 
is identified by the tokens. 

A, C, and D make the mother set a golden 
chair for the bride, in which none but a maid 
can sit, D [no leal maid will sit till bidden, 
C] . In D the chair is declined ; in C, taken 
without bidding ; in A the significance of the 

* In his note-book, p. 1 1 7, Motherwell writes, with less than 
his usual discretion : " The ballad of Bothwell, Cospatric, or 
Gil Brenton, appears to be copied from an account of the 
birth of Makbeth given by Wintown." The substance of 
this account is, that Macbeth' s mother had a habit of re 
pairing to the woods for wholesome air, and that, during one 
of her rambles, she fell in with a fair man, really the 
Devil, who passed the day with her, and got on her a son. 

" And of that dede in taknvng 
He gave his lemman thare a ryng, 



chair has been lost. E, F, G employ no kind of 
test of maidenhood, the bride frankly avows 
that she is with child to another man ; and D, 
as well as E, P, G, omits the substitution of 
the chambermaid. The tokens in D are a 
chain, a ring, and three locks of hair ; in E, 
gloves and a ring; in P, G, green gloves, a 
ring, and three locks [plaits] of hair. Only 
the ring reinains in H. 

" This "ballad," says Motherwell (1827), " is 
very popular, and is known to reciters under a 
variety of names. I have heard it called Lord 
Bangwell, Bengwill, Dingwall, Brengwill, etc., 
and The Seven Sisters, or the Leaves of Lind." 
He adds : " There is an unedited ballad in 
Scotland, which is a nearer approximation to 
the Danish song, inasmuch as the substitu 
tion of the maiden sister for the real bride 
constitutes a prominent feature of the tale." * 
(Minstrelsy, Introduction, Ixix 21 and xc.) 

Scott remarks that Cospatrickf "was the 
designation of the Earl of Dunbar, in the 
days of Wallace and Bruce." Mr Macmath 
informs me that it 'is in use at the present 
day in the families of the Earl of Home and 
of Dunbar of Mochrum, Bart, who, among 
others, claim descent from the ancient earls of 
Dunbar and March. The story of the ballad 
might, of course, attach itself to any person 
prominent in the region where the ballad was 
known. 

Swedish. Three Swedish versions of this 
ballad were given by Afzelius : A, ' Riddar 
Olle' in 50 two-line stanzas, n, 217; B, 19 
two-line stanzas, n, 59; C, 19 two-line stan 
zas, n, 56 : No 33, I, 175-182 of Bergstrom's 
edition. Besides these, there are two frag 
ments in Cavallius and Stephens's unprinted 
collection: D, 6 stanzas; E, 7 stanzas, the 
latter printed in Grundtvig, V, 307.$ All 

And bad hyr that scho suld kepe that wele, 
And hald for hys luve that jwele." 

CronyJcil, Book VI, ch. xviii, 57-90. 

t Scott says : " Cospatrick, Comes Patricius ; " but Coa- 
(Gos-)patrick is apparently Servant of Patrick, like Gil-pat- 
rick (Kil-patrick). Mr Macmath suggests to me that Gil 
Brenton may have originally been Gil-brandon, which seems 
very likely. See Notes and Queries, 5th S., x, 443. 

J A fragment in Rancken's ' Nagra Prof af Folksang/ p. 
14 f, belongs not to 'Riddar Olle/ as there said, but to 



64 



5. GIL BRENTON 



these were obtained from recitation in the 
present century. A comes nearest to our A, 
B. Like Scottish B, it seems to have been 
compounded from several copies. Sir Olof 
betrothed Ingalilla, and carried her home for 
the spousal, wearing a red gold crown and a 
wan cheek. Ingalilla gave birth to twin-boys. 
Olof had a maid who resembled Ingalilla com 
pletely, and who, upon Ingalilla's entreaty, 
consented to play the part of bride on the 
morrow. Dressed in Ingalilla's clothes, blue 
kirtle, green jacket, etc., and wearing five 
gold rings and a gold crown, the maid rode 
to church, with Ingalilla at her back, and her 
beauty was admired by all as she came and 
went. But outside of the church were a good 
many musicians ; and one of these piped out, 
" God-a-mercy, Ingalilla, no maid art thou ! " 
Ingalilla threw into the piper's hand some 
thing which made him change his tune. He 
was an old drunken fellow, and no one need 
mind what he sang. After five days of drink 
ing, they took the bride to her chamber, not 
without force. Ingalilla 1aore the light before 
her, and helped put her to bed ; then lay down 
herself. Olof had over him a fur rug, which 
could talk as well as he, and it called out, 

' Hear me, Sir Olof, hear what I say ; 

Thou hast taken a strumpet, and missed a may.' 

And Olof, 

' Hear, little Inga, sweetheart,' he said ; 

' What didst thou get for thy maidenhead ? ' * 

Inga explained. Her father was a strange 
sort of man, and built her bower by the sea- 
strand, where all the king's courtiers took 
ship. Nine had broken in, and one had robbed 
her of her honor. He had given her an em 
broidered sark, a blue kirtle, green jacket, 
black mantle, gloves, five gold rings, a red gold 
crown, a golden harp, and a silver-mounted 
knife, which she now wishes in the youngster's 

' Herr Aster och Froken Sissa,' though the burden is ' Rid- 
dar Olof.' Other verses, at p. 16, might belong to either. 
'Riddar Ola,' E. Wigstrom's Folkdiktning, p. 37, No 18, 
belongs with the Danish ' Guldsmedens Datter,' Grundtvig, 
No 245. 
* The inquiry seems to refer to the morning gift. " Die 



body. The conclusion is abruptly told in two 
stanzas. Olof bids Inga not to talk so, for he 
is father of her children. He embraces her 
and gives her a queen's crown and name. B 
has the same story, omitting the incident of 
the musician. C has preserved this circum 
stance, but has lost both the substitution of 
the waiting-woman for the bride and the mag 
ical coverlet. D has also lost these important 
features of the original story ; B has retained 
them. 

Danish. ' Brud ikke M0,' Grundtvig, No 
274, v, 304. There are two old versions 
(more properly only one, so close is the agree 
ment), and a third from recent tradition. This 
last, Grundtvig's C, from Jutland, 1856, seems 
to be of Swedish origin, and, like Swedish C, 
D, wants the talking coverlet, though it has 
kept the other material feature, that of the 
substitution. A is found in two manuscripts, 
one of the sixteenth and the other of the sev 
enteenth century. B is the well-known ' In- 
gefred og Gudrune,' or ' Herr Samsings Nat- 
tergale,' Syv, iv, No 62, Danske Viser, No 
194, translated in Jamieson's Illustrations, p. 
340, and by Prior, in, 347. A later form of 
B, from recent recitation, 1868, is given in 
Kristensen's Jydske Folkeviser, I, No 53. 

The story in A runs thus : S01verlad and 
Vendelrod [Ingefred and Gudrune] were sit 
ting together, and Vendelrod wept sorely. S01- 
verlad asked her sister the reason, and was 
told there was cause. Would she be bride one 
night ? Vendelrod would give her wedding 
clothes and all her outfit. But S01verlad 
asked for bridegroom too, and Vendelrod would 
not give up her bridegroom, happen what 
might. She went to church and was married 
to Samsing. On the way from church they 
met a spaeman [B, shepherd], who warned 
Vendelrod that Samsing had some nightin 
gales that could tell him. whether he had mar 
ried a maid or no. The sisters turned aside 



Morgengabe ist ein Geschenk dcs Mannes als Zeichen der 
Liebe (in signura amoris), fur (lie Uebergabe der vollen 
Schonheit (in honore pulchritudinis) und der Jungfraulich- 
keit (pretium virginitatis)." Weiuhold, Die deutschen Frauen 
in dem Mittelalter, S. 270. 



5. GIL BRENTON 



65 



and changed clothes, but could not change 
cheeks ! S01verlad was conducted to Sam- 
sing's house and placed on the bride bench. 
An unlucky jester called out, " Methinks this 
is not Vendelrod ! " but a gold ring adroitly 
thrown into his bosom opened his eyes still 
wider, and made him pretend he had meant 
nothing. The supposed bride is put to bed. 
Samsing invokes his nightingales : " Have I 
a maid or no ? " They reply, it is a maid 
that lies in the bed, but Vendelrod stands 
on the floor. Samsing asks Vendelrod why 
she avoided her bed, and she answers : her 
father lived on the strand ; her bower was 
broken into by a large company of men, and 
one of them robbed her of her honor. In this 
case there are no tokens for evidence. Sam- 
sing owns immediately that he and his men 
had broken into the bower, and Vendelrod's 
agony is over. 

Some of the usual tokens, gold harp, sark, 
shoes, and silver-mounted knife, are found in 
the later C. Danish D is but a single initial 
stanza. 

Besides S01verlad and Vendelrod, there is 
a considerable number of Danish ballads char 
acterized by the feature that a bride is not a 
maid, and most or all of these have similari 
ties to ' Gil Brenton.' * Hr. Find og Vendel 
rod,' Grundtvig, No 275, has even the talking 
blanket (sometimes misunderstood to be a 
bed-board^). In this piece there is no substi 
tution. Vendelrod gives birth to children, 
and the news makes Find jump over the table. 
Still he puts the question mildly, who is the 
father, and recognizes that he is the man, upon 
hearing the story of the bower on the strand, 
and seeing half a gold ring which Vendelrod 
had received " for her honor." 

In ' Ingelilles Bryllup,' Grundtvig, No 276, 
Blidelild is induced to take Ingelild's place by 
the promise that she shall marry Ingelild's 
brother. Hr. Magnus asks her why she is so 
sad, and says he knows she is not a maid. 
Blidelild says, " Since you know so much, I 
will tell you more," and relates Ingelild's ad 
venture, how she had gone out to the river, 
and nine knights came riding by, etc. [so A ; 
in B and C we have the bower on the strand, 
9 



as before]. Hr. Magnus avows that he was 
the ninth, who stayed when eight rode away. 
Blidelild begs that he will allow her to go 
and look for some lost rings, and uses the 
opportunity to send back Ingelild in her 
stead. 

Various other Scandinavian ballads have 
more or less of the story of those which have 
been mentioned. In the Danish ' Brad i 
Vaande,' Grundtvig, No 277, a bride is taken 
with untimely pains while being " brought 
home." The question asked in several of the 
Scottish ballads, whether the saddle is uncom 
fortable, occurs in A, B ; the bower that was 
forced by eight swains and a knight in A, C, 
D, F ; the gifts in A, B, P ; and an express 
acknowledgment of the act of violence by the 
bridegroom in A, B, D. We find all of these 
traits except the first in the corresponding 
Swedish ballad ' Herr Aster och Froken Sissa,' 
Afzelius, No 38, new ed., No 32, 1 ; the saddle 
and broken bower in Swedish D, Grundtvig, 
No 277, Bilag 1 ; only the saddle in Swedish 
F, Grundtvig, No. 277, Bilag 3, and C, Ar- 
widsson, No 132 ; the saddle and gifts in Ice 
landic A, B, C, D, E, Grundtvig, No 277, Bilag 
5, 6, 7, 8. 

' Peder og Malfred,' Grundtvig, No 278, in 
four versions, the oldest from a manuscript of 
1630, represents Sir Peter as riding away from 
home about a month after his marriage, and 
meeting a woman who informs him that there 
is a birth in his house. He returns, and asks 
who is the father. Sir Peter satisfies himself 
that he is the man by identifying the gifts, in 
A, B, C, D ; and in A, B we have also the 
bower by the strand. 

In ' Oluf og Ellinsborg,' Grundtvig, No 
279, A, B, C, one of the queen's ladies is ha 
bitually sad, and is pressed by her lover to ac 
count for this. She endeavors to put him off 
with fictitious reasons, but finally nerves her 
self to tell the truth : she was walking by her 
self in her orchard, when five knights came 
riding by, and one was the cause of her grief. 
Oluf owns it was all his doing. A Swedish 
ballad, remarkably close to the Danish, from 
a manuscript of the date 1572 (the oldest 
Danish version is also from a manuscript of 



5. GIL BRENTON 



the 16th century), is ' Riddar Lage och Stolts 
Elensborg,' Arwidsson, No 56. 

' Iver Hr. Jons0n,' Grundtvig, No 280, in 
five versions, the oldest of the 16th century, 
exhibits a lady as fearing the arrival of her 
lover's ship, and sending her mother to meet 
him, while she takes to her bed. Immediately 
upon her betrothed's entering her chamber, 
she abruptly discloses the cause of her trou 
ble. Eight men had broken into her bower 
on the strand, and the ninth deprived her of 
her honor. Iver Hr. Jons0n, with as little 
delay, confesses that he was the culprit, and 
makes prompt arrangements for the wedding. 

There is another series of ballads, repre 
sented by ' Leesome Brand ' in English, and 
by ' Redselille og Medelvold ' in Danish, which 
describe a young woman, who is on the point 
of becoming a mother, as compelled to go off 
on horseback with her lover, and suffering 
from the ride. We find the question, whether 
the saddle is too narrow or the way too long, 
in the Danish ' Bolde Hr. Nilaus' L0n,' Grundt 
vig, 270, Redselille og Medelvold,' Grundt 
vig, 271 C, D, B, I, K, L, M, P, Q, V, Y, and 
the Norwegian versions, A, D, B, F, of * S0n- 
nens Sorg,' Grundtvig, 272, Bilag 1, 4, 5, 6.* 
The gifts also occur in Grundtvig's 271 A, Z, 
and Norwegian D, Bilag 9. 

Perhaps no set of incidents is repeated so 
often in northern ballads as the forcing of the 
bower on the strand, the giving of keepsakes, 
the self-identification of the ravisher through 
these, and his full and hearty reparation. All 
or some of these traits are found in many bal 
lads besides those belonging to the groups 
here spoken of : as ' Hildebrand og Hilde,' E, 
I, Grundtvig, No 83, and Norwegian A, m, 857 ; 
4 Guldsmedens Datter,' Grundtvig, 245, and 
its Swedish counterpart at p. 481 of the pref 
ace to the same, and in Eva Wigstrom's Folk- 
diktning, p. 37, No 18 ; * Liden Kirstins Dans,' 
Grundtvig, 263 (translated by Prior, 112), 
and Norwegian B, C, Bilag 2, 3 ; * Jomfruens 
Harpeslaet,' Grundtvig, 265 (translated by 
Jamieson, ' Illustrations,' p. 382, Prior, 123, 
Buchanan, p. 6), and Swedish D, Bilag 2, 

* And again, " Is it the saddle, your horse, or your true- 
love ? " almost exactly as in our B, E, F, Grundtvig, 40 C, 



Swedish A, Afzelius, 81. So Landstad, 42, 
45 ; Arwidsson, 141 ; Grundtvig, 37 G ; 38 A, 
D ; Kristensen, I, No 95, n, No 28 A, C. 

A very pretty Norwegian tale has for the 
talisman a stepping-stone at the side of the 
bed : Asbj0rnsen og Moe, No 29, ' Vesle Aase 
Gaasepige,' Dasent, 2d ed., p. 478. An Eng 
lish prince had pictures taken of all the hand 
somest princesses, to pick his bride by. When 
the chosen one arrived, Aase the goose-girl 
informed her that the stone at the bedside 
knew everything and told the prince ; so if she 
felt uneasy on any account, she must not step 
on it. The princess begged Aase to take her 
place till the prince was fast asleep, and then 
they would change. When Aase came and 
put her foot on the stone, the prince asked, 
" Who is it that is stepping into my bed ? " 
" A maid clean and pure," answered the 
stone. By and by the princess came and took 
Aase's place. When they were getting up in 
the morning, the prince asked again, " Who 
is it stepping out of my bed ? " " One that 
has had three children," said the stone. The 
prince sent his first choice away, and tried a 
second. Aase faithfully warned her, and she 
had cause for heeding the advice. When Aase 
stepped in, the stone said it was a maid clean 
and pure ; when the princess stepped out, the 
stone said it was one that had had six children. 
The prince was longer in hitting on a third 
choice. Aase took the bride's place once more, 
but this time the prince put a ring on her fin 
ger, which was so tight that she could not get it 
off, for he saw that all was not right. In the 
morning, when he asked, " Who is stepping 
out of my bed ? " the stone answered, " One 
that has had nine children." Then the prince 
asked the stone to clear up the mystery, and 
it revealed how the princesses had put little 
Aase in their place. The prince went straight 
to Aase to see if she had the ring. She had 
tied a rag over her finger, pretending she had 
cut it ; but the prince soon had the rag off, 
recognized his ring, and Aase got the prince, 
for the good reason that so it was to be. 

The artifice of substituting waiting-woman 

E, F, Afzelius, 91, Landstad, 45, 52. So the Scottish ballad, 
' The Cruel Brother,' B 15 f. 



5. GIL BRENTON 



67 



for bride has been thought to be derived from 
the romance of Tristan, in which Brangwain 
[Brengain, Brangaene] sacrifices herself for 
Isold : Scott's ' Sir Tristrem,' ii, 54 ; Gottfried 
v. Strassburg, xviii, ed. Bechstein. Grundt 
vig truly remarks that a borrowing by the ro 
mance from the popular ballad is as probable 
a supposition as the converse ; and that, even 
should we grant the name of the hero of the 
ballad to be a reminiscence of that of Isold's 
attendant (e. g. Brangwill of Brangwain), 
nothing follows as to the priority of the ro 
mance in respect to this passage. A similar 
artifice is employed in the ballad of ' Torkild 
Triindeson,' Danske Viser, 200 (translated by 
Prior, 100) ; Afzelius, n, 86, from the Danish ; 
Arwidsson, 36. The resemblance is close to 
' Ingelilles Bryllup,' C, Grundtvig, 276. See 
also, further on, ' The Twa Knights.' 

The Billie Blin presents himself in at least 
four Scottish ballads : ' Gil Brenton,' C ; ' Wil 
lie's Lady ; ' one version of ' Young Beichan ; ' 
two of ' The Knight and Shepherd's Daugh 
ter ; ' and also in the English ballad of ' King 
Arthur and the King of Cornwall,' here under 
the slightly disfigured name of Burlow Beanie.* 
In all he is a serviceable household demon; 
of a decidedly benignant disposition in the 
first four, and, though a loathly fiend with 
seven heads in the last, very obedient and 
useful when once thoroughly subdued. He 
is clearly of the same nature as the Dutch 
belewitte and German bilwiz, characterized by 
Grimm as a friendly domestic genius, penas, 
guote holde ; and the names are actually asso 
ciated in a passage cited by Grimm from 
Voet : " De illis quos nostrates appellant beeld- 
wit et blinde belien, a quibus nocturna visa 
videri atque ex iis arcana revelari putant." f 
Though the etymology of these words is not 
unencumbered with difficulty, bit seems to 

* The auld belly-blind man in ' Earl Richard,' 44 s , 45*, 
Kinloch's A. S. Ballads, p. 15, retains the bare name; and 
Belly Blind, or Billie Blin, is the Scotch name for the game 
of Blindman's-buff. 

t Gisbertus Voetius, De Miraculis, Disput., n, 1018. Cited 



point to a just and kindly-tempered being. 
Bilvis, in the seventh book of Saxo Grammat- 
icus, is an aged counsellor whose bent is to 
make peace, while his brother Bb'lvfs, a blind 
man, is a strife-breeder and mischief-maker. J 
The same opposition of Bil and Bol apparently 
occurs in the Edda, Grfmnismal, 47 4 , where 
Bil-eygr and Bol-eygr (Bal-eygr) are appel 
latives of Odin, which may signify mild-eyed 
and evil-eyed. Bb'lvis is found again in the 
Hr6mund's saga, under the description of 
' Blind the Bad,' and ' the Carl Blind whose 
name was Bavfs.' But much of this saga is 
taken from the story of Helgi Hundingslayer ; 
and Blind the Bad in the saga is only Sae- 
mund's Blindr inn bolvfsi, the blind man 
whose baleful wit sees through the disguise of 
Helgi, and all but betrays the rash hero to his 
enemies ; that is, Odin in his malicious mood 
(Bblverkr), who will presently be seen in the 
ballad of ' Earl Brand ' masking as Old Carl 
Hood, " aye for ill and never for good." Orig 
inally and properly, perhaps, only tne bad 
member of this" mythical pair is blind; but it 
would not be at all strange that later tradi 
tion, which confuses and degrades so much in 
the old mythology, should transfer blindness 
to the good-natured one, and give rise to the 
anomalous Billie Blind. See Grimm, Deutsche 
Mythologie, 1879, I, 391 ff ; Uhlaud, Zur Ge- 
schichte der Dichtung u. Sage, in, 132 ff, vn, 
229 ; Schmeller, Bayerisches Worterbuch, n, 
1037 ff, ed. 1877 ; Van den Bergh, Woorden- 
boek der nederlandsche Mythologie, 12. 

It has been suggested to me that "the 
Haleigh throw " in E 6 is a corruption of the 
High Leith Row, a street in Edinburgh. I 
have not as yet been able to obtain informa 
tion of such a street. 

D is translated by Grundtvig, Engelske og 
skotske Folkeviser, No 40, p. 262. 

also by Schmeller, Bayerisches Worterbuch, from J. Pr- 
torius's Alectryomantia, p. 3. 

t Merlin, in Layamon, v. 17130 ff (as pointed out by 
Grundtvig, i, 274), says that his mind is balewise, " mi gasst 
is baeliwis," and that he is not disposed to gladness, mirth, 
or good words. 



68 



5. GIL BKENTON 



a. Jamieson-Brown MS., No 16, fol. 34. b. William Tyt- 
ler's Brown MS., No 3. From the recitation of Mrs Brown 
of Falkland, 1783, Aberdeenshire. 

1 GEL BREISTTON has sent oer the fame, 
He 's woo'd a wife an brought her hame. 

2 Full sevenscore o ships came her wi, 
The lady by the greenwood tree. 

3 There was twal an twal wi beer an wine, 
An twal an twal wi muskadine : 

4 An twall an twall wi bouted flowr, 
An twall an twall wi paramour : 

5 An twall an twall wi baken bread, 
An twall an twall wi the goud sae red. 

6 Sweet Willy was a widow's son, 
An at her stirrup-foot he did run. 

* 

7 An she was dressd i the finest pa, 
But ay she loot the tears down fa. 

8 An she was deckd wi the fairest flowrs, 
But ay she loot the tears down pour. 

9 ' is there water i your shee ? 

Or does the win blaw i your glee ? 

10 ' Or are you mourning i your meed 
That eer you left your mither gueede ? 

11 ' Or are ye mourning i your tide 

That ever ye was Gil Brenton's bride ? ' 

12 ' The[re] is nae water i my shee, 
Nor does the win blaw i my glee : 

13 ' Nor am I mourning i my tide 
That eer I was Gil Brenton's bride : 

14 ' But I am mourning i my meed 
That ever I left my mither gueede. 

15 ' But, bonny boy, tell to me 

What is the customs o your country.' 

16 ' The customs o 't, my dame,' he says, 
' Will ill a gentle lady please. 



17 ' Seven king's daughters has our king wedded, 
An seven king's daughters has our king bedded. 

18 ' But he 's cutted the paps frae their breast-bane, 
An sent them mourning hame again. 

19 ' But whan you come to the palace yate, 
His mither a golden chair will set. 

20 ' An be you maid or be you nane, 

O sit you there till the day be dane. 

21 ' An gin you 're sure that you are a maid, 
Ye may gang safely to his bed. 

22 ' But gin o that you be na sure, 
Then hire some woman o youre bowr.' 

23 O whan she came to the palace yate, 
His mither a golden chair did set. 

24 An was she maid or was she nane, 
She sat in it till the day was dane. 

25 An she 's calld on her bowr woman, 
That waiting was her bowr within. 

26 ' Five hundred pound, maid, I '11 gi to the, 
An sleep this night wi the king for me.' 

27 Whan bells was rung, an mass was sung, 
An a' man unto bed was gone, 

28 Gil Brenton an the bonny maid 
Intill ae chamber they were laid. 

29 ' speak to me, blankets, an speak to me, sheets, 
An speak to me, cods, that under me sleeps ; 

30 ' Is this, a maid that I ha wedded ? 
Is this a maid that I ha bedded ? ' 

31 ' It 's nae a maid that you ha wedded, 
But it 's a maid that you ha bedded. 

32 ' Your lady 's in her bigly bowr, 

An for you she drees mony sharp showr.' 

33 O he has taen him thro the ha, 
And on his mither he did ca. 

34 ' I am the most unhappy man 
That ever was in christend Ian. 



5. GIL BRENTON 



69 



35 ' I woo'd a maiden meek an mild, 

An I 've marryed a woman great wi child.' 

36 ' O stay, my son, intill this ha, 

An sport you wi your merry men a'. 

37 ' An I '11 gang to yon painted bowr, 
An see how 't fares wi yon base whore.' 

38 The auld queen she was stark an strang ; 
She gard the door flee aff the ban. 

39 The auld queen she was stark an steer ; 
She gard the door lye i the fleer. 

40 ' is your bairn to laird or loon ? 
Or is it to your father's groom ? ' 

41 ' My bairn 's na to laird or loon, 
Nor is it to my father's groom. 

42 ' But hear me, mither, on my knee, 
An my hard wierd I '11 tell to thee. 

43 ' O we were sisters, sisters seven, 
We was the fairest under heaven. 

44 ' We had nae mair for our seven years wark 
But to shape an sue the king's son a sark. 

45 ' it fell on a Saturday's afternoon, 
Whan a' our langsome wark was dane, 

46 * We keist the cavils us amang, 

To see which shoud to the greenwood gang. 

47 ' Ohone, alas ! for I was youngest, 
An ay my wierd it was the hardest. 

48 ' The cavil it did on me fa, 
Which was the cause of a' my wae. 

49 ' For to the greenwood I must gae, 
To pu the nut but an the slae ; 

50 ' To pu the red rose an the thyme, 

To strew my mother's bowr and mine. 

51 ' I had na pu'd a flowr but ane, 

Till by there came a jelly hind greeme, 

52 ' Wi high-colld hose an laigh-colld shoone, 
An he 'peard to be some kingis son. 



53 ' An be I maid or be I nane, 

He kept me there till the day was dane. 

54 ' An be I maid or be I nae, 

He kept me there till the close of day. 

55 ' He gae me a lock of yallow hair, 
An bade me keep it for ever mair. 

56 ' He gae me a carket o gude black beads, 
An bade me keep them against my needs. 

57 ' He gae to me a gay gold ring, 

An bade me ke[e]p it aboon a' thing. 

58 ' He gae to me a little pen-kniff e, 
An bade me keep it as my life.' 

59 ' What did you wi these tokens rare 
That ye got frae that young man there ? ' 

60 ' O bring that coffer hear to me, 
And a' the tokens ye sal see.' 

61 An ay she ranked, an ay she flang, 
Till a' the tokens came till her han. 

62 ' stay here, daughter, your bowr within, 
Till I gae parley wi my son.' 

63 O she has taen her thro the ha, 
An on her son began to ca. 

64 ' What did you wi that gay gold ring 
I bade you keep aboon a' thing ? 

65 ' What did you wi that little pen-kniffe 
I bade you keep while you had life ? 

66 ' What did you wi that yallow hair 
I bade you keep for ever mair ? 

67 < What did you wi that good black beeds 
I bade you keep against your needs ? ' 

68 ' I gae them to a lady gay 

I met i the greenwood on a day. 

69 ' An I would gi a' my father's Ian, 
I had that lady my yates within. 

70 ' I would gi a' my ha's an towrs, 

I had that bright burd i my bowrs.' 



70 



5. GIL BKENTON 



71 ' son, keep still your father's Ian ; 
You hae that lady your yates within. 

72 ' An keep you still your ha's an towrs ; 
You hae that bright burd i your bowrs.' 



73 Now or a month was come an gone, 
This lady bare a bonny young son. 

74 An it was well written on his breast-bane 
' Gil Brenton is my father's name.' 



B 



Scott's Minstrelsy, 11, 117, ed. 1802. Ed. 1830, in, 263. 
Partly from the recitation of Miss Christian Eutherford. 

1 COSPATBICK has sent oer the faem, 
Cospatrick brought his ladye hame. 

2 And fourscore ships have come her wi, 
The ladye by the grenewood tree. 

3 There were twal and twal wi baken bread, 
And twal and twal wi gowd sae reid : 

4 And twal and twal wi bouted flour, 
And twal and twal wi the paramour. 

5 Sweet Willy was a widow's son, 
And at her stirrup he did run. 

6 And she was clad in the finest pall, 
But aye she let the tears down fall. 

7 ' O is your saddle set awrye ? 

Or rides your steed for you owre high ? 

8 ' Or are you mourning in your tide 
That you suld be Cospatrick's bride ? ' 

9 ' I am not mourning at this tide 
That I suld be Cospatrick's bride ; 

10 ' But I am sorrowing in my mood 
That I suld leave my mother good. 

11 ' But, gentle boy, come tell to me, 
What is the custom of thy countrye ? ' 

12 ' The custom thereof, my dame,' he says, 
' Will ill a gentle laydye please. 

13 ' Seven king's daughters has our lord wedded, 
And seven king's daughters has our lord 

bedded ; 



14 ' But he 's cutted their breasts frae their breast 

bane, 
And sent them mourning hame again. 

15 ' Yet, gin you 're sure that you 're a maid, 
Ye may gae safely to his bed ; 

16 ' But gif o that ye be na sure, 
Then hire some damsell o your bour.' 

17 The ladye 's calld her bour-maiden, 
That waiting was into her train ; 

18 ' Five thousand merks I will gie thee, 
To sleep this night with my lord for me.' 

19 When bells were rung, and mass was sayne, 
And a' men unto bed were gane, 

20 Cospatrick and the bonny maid, 
Into ae chamber they were laid. 

21 ' Now, speak to me, blankets, and speak to me, 

bed, 
And speak, thou sheet, inchanted web ; 

22 ' And speak up, my bonny brown sword, that 

winna lie, 
Is this a true maiden that lies by me ? ' 

23 ' It is not a maid that you hae wedded, 
But it is a maid that you hae bedded. 

24 ' It is a liel maiden that lies by thee, 
But not the maiden that it should be.' 

25 wrathfully he left the bed, 
And wrathfully his claiths on did. 

26 And he has taen him thro the ha, 
And on his mother he did ca. 



6. GIL BRENTON 



27 ' I am the most unhappy man 
That ever was in christen land ! 

28 ' I courted a maiden meik and mild, 

And I hae gotten naething but a woman wi 
child.' 

29 ' stay, my son, into this ha, 

And sport ye wi your merrymen a' ; 

30 ' And I will to the secret hour, 

To see how it fares wi your paramour.' 

31 The carline she was stark and sture ; 
She aff the hinges dang the dure. 

32 ' is your bairn to laird or loun ? 
Or is it to your father's groom ? ' 

33 ; O hear me, mother, on my knee, 
Till my sad story I tell to thee. 

34 ' we were sisters, sisters seven, 
We were the fairest under heaven. 

35 ' It fell on a summer's afternoon, 
When a' our toilsome task was done, 

36 ' We cast the kavils us amang, 

To see which suld to the grene-wood gang. 

37 ' hon, alas ! for I was youngest, 
And aye my wierd it was the hardest. 

38 ' The kavil it on me did fa, 
Whilk was the cause of a' my woe. 

39 ' For to the grene-wood I maun gae, 
To pu the red rose and the slae ; 

40 ' To pu the red rose and the thyme, 
To deck my mother's bour and mine. 

41 ' I hadna pu'd a flower but ane, 
When by there came a gallant hende, 

42 ' Wi high-colld hose and laigh-colld shoon, 
And he seemd to be sum king's son. 

43 ' And be I maid or be I nae, 

He kept me there till the close o day. 



44 ' And be I maid or be I nane, 

He kept me there till the day was done. 

45 ' He gae me a lock o his yellow hair, 
And bade me keep it ever mair. 

46 ' He gae me a carknet o bonny beads, 
And bade me keep it against my needs. 

47 ' He gae to me a gay gold ring, 
And bade me keep it abune a' thing.' 

48 ' What did ye wi the tokens rare 
That ye gat frae that gallant there ? ' 

49 ' O bring that coffer unto me, 
And a' the tokens ye sail see.' 

50 ' Now stay, daughter, your bour within. 
While I gae parley wi my son.' 

51 O she has taen her thro the ha, 
And on her son began to ca. 

52 ' What did you wi the bonny beads 
I bade ye keep against your needs ? 

53 ' What did you wi the gay gowd ring 
I bade ye keep abune a' thing ? ' 

54 ' I gae them a' to a ladye gay 
I met in grene-wood on a day. 

55 ' But I wad gie a' my halls and tours, 
I had that ladye within my bours. 

56 ' But I wad gie my very life, 
I had that ladye to my wife.' 

57 ' Now keep, my son, your ha's and tours ; 
Ye have that bright burd in your bours. 

58 ( And keep, my son, your very life ; 
Ye have that ladye to your wife.' 

59 Now or a month was cum and gane, 
The ladye bore a bonny son. 

60 And 't was weel written on his breast-bane, 
' Cospatrick is my father's name.' 

61 ' O rowe my ladye in satin and silk, 
And wash my son in the morning milk.' 



3. GIL BBKHTQar 




WK were sisters, we were serwu 

We wm* the fairest under heaven. 



2 AnJ it was a* oar seven JUJM wark 
To sew oar father's seven sarks. 

3 And whan oar seven years wark wae 
We hud it oat opo the green. 

4 We eoost the lottks as amang. 

Wha wad to the greenwood gang. 

5 To pa the Hry bat and the rose, 
To strew witha 7 our asters' bowers. 

6 . . Iwas 



8 Therelmeta 



ehUde- 



9 ffighncoled ii 1'jj ami fcajh mini 
He bore him fike a king's son. 

10 An was I weeL or was I wae. 
He keepit me a' the simmer day. 



12 He gae to me a gay gold ring, 
And bade me keep it 



13 He gae to me a eattie knife. 

:: ^ BBJ lifr : 



14 Tfaee 
Fcrfnrwe 

* * * * 

15 Xert there came dnppes three. 



16 r 1 ii i ft 1 nil, m I imili a I , 



IT They came toom and fight to * 
Bat hearie weak they waie fra* 



18 They were fa o 
Thar were fa of 



.' - ^ ~. . 

M 



19 My dm 



a* by the sea. 



Bat I gaed by the grenewode tree. 

20 An I sighed and made great maae, 
As thro the greaewode we rade oar 

21 An I ay siehed an wiped my ee. 
That eer the Mnnde I did see. 



22 *Is there water in roar glove, 

Or win into yoar she*? 
Of r] am I oer low a foot pay 
To rin by yoo. ladle?' 

23 O there *s nae water in my glove. 

Nor win into my shoe : 
Bat I am maning for my mither 

Wha "s far awa frae me." 
***** 

24 Gin ye be a maiden fair. 
Meikle gnde ye will get there. 

25 If ye be a maiden bat. 
Memle aenew win ye gat. 

26 * For seven king's daughters he hath wedded. 
Bat never wi ane o them has bedded. 



27 -He 

Ans 



fc 1 1^ 



' He sets their backs 
An seads theam back 



29 Bat be ye maiden or be ye naae, 
To the gowdea chair ye draw right 



30 Bat be ye lemaa or be ye 
Sat mm dbvm tffl ye be hi 



31 Was she maiden or was she nane^ 
To the gowdca chair she drew right 



32 "~i In !! ii i 11 

aw* 



5. GIL BKKMOJI 



33 Oat dien spake die lord's mother; 
Says, This is not a maiden fair. 

34 In that chair nae leal m^j*~ 
Eer sits down tffl diey be bidden.' 



35 The Bfflie Blin 

As he stood by die fair ladie. 

36 *' The bonnie may is tired wi riding. 
Gaord her sit down ere she 

***** 

37 Bat on her waiting-maid she ea'd : 

Fair ladie. what 's yoor wifl wi me ? ' 
* O ye maon gie yere maidenheid 
This night to an onco lord for me.' 

38 ' I hae been east. I hae been west. 

I hae been far beyond die sea. 
Bat ay. by grenewode or by bower, 
I hae keeph my Tirginitie. . 

39 ' But wffl it for my ladie plead. 

1 11 gie "t this night to an unco lord.' 
***** 

40 When bells were rung an vespers 
An men in sleep were locked 



41 Chflde Branton and the waiting-maid 
Into die bridal bed were laid. 

42 O lie thee down, my fair ladie. 
Here are a' things meet for thee ; 

43 Here 's a bolster for yere head. 
Here is sheets an comehe weids-' 

* * * * 

44 Now tefl to me. ye Bfflie Blin. 

If ::.:- :.\i: .l^r^r : r ^ lr.il Ink 1 



45 I wat she is as leal a wight 
As the moon shines on in a si 



46 4 I wat she is as leal a may 

As the son shines on in a simmer day. 

47 Bat your bonnie bride 's in her bower. 
Dreeing the mither's trying hoar.' 

48 Then oat o his bridal bed he sprang, 
An into his mither's bower he ran. 



This is nae a maiden fair. 

50 The maiden I took to my bride 
Has a bairn 



51 'The maiden I took to Mf 



52 

And to tibe wa the door 



53 She stapt at neither bolt nor 

Tffl to that ladie's bed she w: 

54 Says. Ladie fair, sae meek a 

is die farther o yere child r ' 



55 ' O midier dear.' said diat ladie. 
-Ieammfaflpflaidic. 



56 



We 



57 And it was a' oar seren JOBS wark 
To sew ovr fadier's seren sarks. 



58 And whan our seren year? wa 
We laid it out mpom dv green. 

59 - We coost the lottaes vs anang 
Wha wad to die grecvwode gai 



60 - To pu the IDT bat aa the 
To 



61 



hard* 



tt 'Hi 111 Hi jy JiiT buTd] gae. 



63 -There I 



64 -Wi 
He 



h hi 



65 *And was I weel or was I wae. 
He keepit me a' d sinoaer day. 



66 



: :: 



He keepit me a* dw 



74 



5. GIL BRENTON 



67 ' He gae to me a gay gold ring, 
An bade me keep it aboon a' thing ; 

68 ' Three lauchters o his yellow hair, 
For fear that we suld neer meet mair. 

69 ' O mither, if ye '11 believe nae me, 
Break up the coffer, an there ye '11 see.' 

70 An ay she coost, an ay she flang, 

Till her ain gowd ring came in her hand. 

71 And scarce aught i the coffer she left, 
Till she gat the knife wi the siller heft, 

72 Three lauchters o his yellow hair, 
Knotted wi ribbons dink and rare. 

73 She cried to her son, ' Where is the ring 
Your father gave me at our wooing, 

An I gae you at your hunting ? 

74 ' What did ye wi the cuttie knife, 
I bade ye keep it as yere life ? ' 

75 ' O baud yere tongue, my mither dear ; 
I gae them to a lady fair. 



76 'I wad gie a' my lands and rents, 
I had that ladie within my brents. 

77 ' I wad gie a' my lands an towers, 
I had that ladie within my bowers.' 

78 ' Keep still yere lands, keep still yere rents ; 
Ye hae that ladie within yere brents. 

79 ' Keep still yere lands, keep still yere towers ; 
Ye hae that lady within your bowers.' 

80 Then to his ladie fast ran he, 
An low he kneeled on his knee. 

81 ' tauk ye up my son,' said he, 
' An, mither, tent my fair ladie. 

82 ' O wash him purely i the milk, 
And lay him saftly in the silk. 

83 ' An ye maun bed her very soft, 
For I maun kiss her wondrous oft.' 

84 It was weel written on his breast-bane 
Childe Branton was the father's name. 

85 It was weel written on his right hand 
He was the heir o his daddie's land. 



Buchan's Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scot 
land, i, 204. 

1 WE were sisters, sisters seven, 

Bowing down, bowing down 

The fairest women under heaven. 

And aye the birks a-bowing 

2 They kiest kevels them amang, 
Wha woud to the grenewood gang. 

3 The kevels they gied thro the ha, 
And on the youngest it did fa. 

4 Now she must to the grenewood gang, 
To pu the nuts in grenewood hang. 

5 She hadna tarried an hour but ane 
Till she met wi a highlan groom. 



6 He keeped her sae late and lang 

Till the evening set and birds they sang. 

7 He gae to her at their parting 

A chain o gold and gay gold ring ; 

8 Arid three locks o his yellow hair ; 
Bade her keep them for evermair. 

9 When six lang months were come and gane. 
A courtier to this lady came. 

10 Lord Dingwall courted this lady gay, 
And so he set their wedding-day. 

11 A little boy to the ha was sent, 
To bring her horse was his intent. 

12 As she was riding the way along, 
She began to make a heavy moan. 



5. GIL BRENTON 



75 



13 ' What ails you, lady,' the boy said, 
' That ye seem sae dissatisfied ? 

14 ' Are the bridle reins for you too strong ? 
Or the stirrups for you too long ? ' 

15 ' But, little boy, will ye tell me 

The fashions that are in your countrie ? ' 

16 ' The fashions in our ha I '11 tell, 
And o them a' I '11 warn you well. 

17 ' When ye come in upon the floor, 

His mither will meet you wi a golden chair. 

18 ' But be ye maid or be ye nane, 
Unto the high seat make ye boun. 

19 ; Lord Dingwall aft has been beguild 
By girls whom young men hae defiled. 

20 ' He 's cutted the paps frae their breast-bane, 
And s,ent them back to their ain hame.' 

21 When she came in upon the floor, 
His mother met her wi a golden chair. 

22 But to the high seat she made her boun : 
She knew that maiden she was nane. 

23 When night was come, they went to bed, 
And ower her breast his arm he laid. 

24 He quickly jumped upon the floor, 
And said, ' I 've got a vile rank whore.' 

25 Unto his mother he made his moan, 
Says, ' Mother dear, I am undone. 

26 ' Ye 've aft tald, when I brought them hame, 
Whether they were maid or nane. 

27 ' I thought I 'd gotten a maiden bright ; 
I 've gotten but a waef u wight. 

28 ' I thought I 'd gotten a maiden clear, 
But gotten but a vile rank whore.' 

29 ' When she came in upon the floor, 
I met her wi a golden chair. 

30 ' But to the high seat she made her boun, 
Because a maiden she was nane.' 



31 ' I wonder wha 's tauld that gay ladie 
The fashion into our countrie.' 

32 ' It is your little boy I blame, 
Whom ye did send to bring her hame.' 

33 Then to the lady she did go, 
And said, ' O Lady, let me know 

34 < Who has defiled your fair bodie : 
Ye 're the first that has beguiled me.' 

35 ' we were sisters, sisters seven, 
The fairest women under heaven. 

36 ' And we kiest kevels us amang, 
Wha woud to the grenewood gang ; 

37 ' For to pu the finest flowers, 

To put around our summer bowers. 

38 ' I was the youngest o them a' ; 
The hardest fortune did me befa. 

39 ( Unto the grenewood I did gang, 
And pu'd the nuts as they down hang. 

40 ' I hadna stayd an hour but ane 
Till I. met wi a highlan groom. 

41 ' He keeped me sae late and lang 

Till the evening set and birds they sang. 

42 ' He gae to me at our parting 

A chain of gold and gay gold ring ; 

43 ' And three locks o his yellow hair ; 
Bade me keep them for evermair. 

44 ' Then for to show I make nae lie, 
Look ye my trunk, and ye will see.' 

45 Unto the trunk then she did go, 
To see if that were true or no. 

46 And aye she sought, and aye she flang, 
Till these four things came to her hand. 

47 Then she did to her ain son go, 

And said, ' My son, ye 'U let me know, 

48 ' Ye will tell to me this thing : 
What did you wi my wedding-ring ? ' 



76 



5. GIL BRENTON 



49 ' Mother dear, I '11 tell nae lie : 
I gave it to a gay ladie. 

50 ' I would gie a' my ha's and towers, 
I had this bird within my bowers.' 

51 ' Keep well, keep well your lands and strands ; 
Ye hae that bird within your hands. 

52 ' Now, my son, to your bower ye '11 go : 
Comfort your ladie, she 's full o woe.' 



53 Now when nine months were come and gane, 
The lady she brought hame a son. 

54 It was written on his breast-bane 
Lord Dingwall was his father's name. 

55 He 's taen his young son in his arms, 
And aye he praisd his lovely charms. 

56 And he has gien him kisses three, 
And doubled them ower to his ladie. 



E 



Elizabeth Cochrane's Song-Book, p. 146, No 112. 

1 LORD BEJTWALL he 's a hunting gone ; 

Hey down, etc. 

He 's taken with him all his merry men. 
Hey, etc. 

2 As he was walking late alone, 

He spyed a lady both brisk and young. 

3 He keeped her so long and long, 

From the evening late till the morning came. 

4 All that he gave her at their parting 
Was a pair of gloves and a gay gold ring. 

5 Lord Benwall he 's a wooing gone, 

And he 's taken with him all his merry men. 

6 As he was walking the Haleigh throw, 
He spy'd seven ladyes all in a row. 

7 He cast a lot among them all ; 
Upon the youngest the lot did fall. 

8 He wedded her and brought her home, 
And by the way she made great moan. 

9 ' What aileth my dearest and dayly flower ? 
What ails my dear, to make such moan ? 

10 ' Does the steed carry you too high ? 
Or does thy pillow sit awry ? 

11 ' Or does the wind blow in thy glove ? 
Or is thy heart after another love ? ' 



12 'The steed does not carry me too high, 
Nor does my pillow sit awry. 

13 ' Nor does the wind blow in my glove, 
Nor is my heart after another love.' 

14 When they were doun to supper set, 
The weary pain took her by the back. 

15 ' What ails my dearest and dayly flower ? 
What ails my dearest, to make such moan ? ' 

16 ' I am with child, and it 's not to thee, 
And oh and alas, what shall I doe ! ' 

17 ' I thought I had got a maid so mild ; 
But I have got a woman big with child. 

18 ' I thought I had got a dayly flower ; 
I have gotten but a common whore.' 

***** 

19 ' Rise up, Lord Benwall, go to your hall, 
And cherrish up your merry men all.' 

***** 

20 ' As I was walking once late alone, 

I spy'd a lord, both brisk and young. 

21 ' He keeped me so long and long, 

From the evening late till the morning came. 

22 ' All that he gave me at our parting 
Was a pair of gloves and a gay gold ring. 

23 ' If you will not believe what I tell to thee, 
There 's the key of my coffer, you may go and 

see.' 



5. GIL BRENTON" 



77 



24 His mother went, and threw and flang, 
Till to her hand the ring it came. 

25 ' Lord Benwall, wilt thou tell to me 
Where is the ring I gave to thee ? ' 

26 ' Now I would give all my lands and tower, 
To have that lady in my hower. 

27 ' I would give all my lands and rents, 
To have that lady in my tents.' 

28 ' You need not give all your lands and tower, 
For you have that lady in your power. 



29 ; You need not give all your lands and rents, 
For you have that lady in your tents.' 

30 Now it was written on the child's breast-bone 
Lord BenwalTs sirname and his name. 

31 It was written on the child's right hand 

That he should be heir of Lord BenwalTs land. 

32 ' Canst cloath my lady in the silk, 
And feed my young son with the milk.' 



a. Motherwell's MS., p. 219. From the recitation of Mrs 
Thomson, February, 1825. b. Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ap 
pendix, p. xvi, the first stanza only. 

1 THERE were three sisters in a bouir, 

Eh down and Oh down 

And the youngest o them was the fairest flour. 
Eh down and O down 

2 And we began our seven years wark, 
To sew our brither John a sark. 

3 When seven years was come and gane, 
There was nae a sleeve in it but ane. 

4 But we coost kevils us amang 
Wha wud to the green-wood gang. 

5 But tho we had coosten neer sae lang, 
The lot it fell on me aye to gang. 

6 I was the youngest, and I was the fairest, 
And alace ! my wierd it was aye the sairest. 



11 But he keepit me there sae lang, sae lang, 
Till the maids in the morning were singing 

their sang. 

12 Would I wee or would I way, 

He keepit me the lang simmer day. 

13 Would I way or would I wight, 
He keepit me the simmer night. 

14 But guess what was at our parting ? 

A pair o grass green gloves and a gay gold 
ring. 

15 He gave me three plaits o his yellow hair, 
In token that we might meet mair. 

16 But when nine months were come and gane, 
This gallant lord cam back again. 

17 He 's wed this lady, and taen her wi him ; 
But as they were riding the leas o Lyne, 

18 This lady was not able to ride, 



Till I had to the woods to gae. 

8 To pull the cherrie and the slae, 

And to seek our ae brither, we had nae mae. 

9 But as I was walking the leas o Lyne, 
I met a youth gallant and fine ; 

10 Wi milk white stockings and coal black shoon ; 
He seemed to be some gay lord's son. 



19 ' O does thy saddle set thee aside ? 

Or does thy steed ony wrang way ride ? 

20 ' Or thinkst thou me too low a groom ? 



21 ' Or hast thou musing in thy mind 
For the leaving of thy mother kind ? ' 



78 



5. GIL BRENTON 



22 ' My saddle it sets not me aside, 

Nor does my steed ony wrang way ride. 

23 ' Nor think I thee too low a groom 



24 ' But I hae musing in my mind 
For the leaving of my mother kind.' 

25 ' I '11 bring thee to a mother of mine, 
As good a mother as eer was thine.' 

26 ' A better mother she may be, 

But an unco woman she '11 prove to me.' 

27 But when lords and ladies at supper sat, 
Her pains they struck her in the back. 

28 When lords and ladies were laid in bed, 
Her pains they struck her in the side. 

29 ' Rise up, rise up, now, Lord Brangwill, 
For I 'm wi child and you do not know 't.' 

30 He took up his foot and gave her sic a bang 
Till owre the bed the red blood sprang. 

31 He is up to his mother's ha, 
Calling: her as hard as he could ca. 



39 ' With milk-white stockings and coal-black 

shoon ; 
He seemd to be sum gay lord's son. 

40 ' He keepit me sae lang, sae lang, 

Till the maids in the morning were singing 
their sang. 

41 ' Would I wee or would I way, 
He keepit me the lang simmer day. 

42 ' Would I way or would I wight, 
He keepit me the simmer night. 

43 ' But guess ye what was at our parting ? 

A pair of grass green gloves and a gay gold 
ring. 

44 ' He gave me three plaits o his yellow hair, 
In token that we might meet mair.' 

45 ' O dochter dear, will ye show me 
These tokens that he gave to thee ? ' 

46 ' Altho my back should break in three, 
Unto my coffer I must be.' 

47 ( Thy back it shall not break in three, 
For I '11 bring thy coffer to thy knee.' 



32 ' I went through moss and I went through 48 Aye she coost, and aye she flang, 



mure, 
Thinking to get some lily flouir. 



33 

' But to my house I have brocht a hure. 

34 ' I thocht to have got a lady baith meek and 

mild, 
But I 've got a woman that 's big wi child.' 

35 ' O rest you here, Lord Brangwill,' she said, 
' Till I relieve your lady that lyes so low.' 

36 ' O daughter dear, will you tell to me 
Who is the father of your babie ? ' 

37 ' Yes, mother dear, I will tell thee 
Who is the father of my babie. 

38 ' As I was walking the leas o Lyne, 
I met a youth gallant and fine ; 



Till these three tokens came to her hand. 

49 Then she is up to her son's ha, 
Calling him hard as she could ca. 

50 ' O son, son, will you tell me 



51 ' What ye did wi the grass green gloves and 

gay gold ring 
That ye gat at your own birth-een ? ' 

52 ' I gave them to as pretty a may 
As ever I saw in a simmer day. 

53 ' I wud rather than a' my lands sae broad 
That I had her as sure as eer I had. 

54 ' I would rather than a' my lands sae free 
I had her here this night wi me.' 



5. GIL BRENTON 



79 



55 ' I wish you good o your lands sae broad, 
For ye have her as sure as eer ye had. 

56 ' I wish ye good o your lands sae free, 
For ye have her here this night wi thee.' 



57 ' Gar wash my auld son in the milk, 
Gar deck my lady's bed wi silk.' 

58 He gave his auld son kisses three, 

But he doubled them a' to his gay ladye. 



G 



Herd's Ancient and Modern Scots Songs, 1769, p. 244; ed. 
1776, i, 83. 

1 As Bothwell was walking in the lowlands alane, 

Hey down and a down 
He met six ladies sae gallant and fine. 
Hey down and a down 

2 He cast his lot amang them a', 
And on the youngest his lot did fa. 

3 He 's brought her frae her mother's bower, 
Unto his strongest castle and tower. 

4 But ay she cried and made great moan, 
And ay the tear came trickling down. 

5 ' Come up, come up,' said the foremost man, 
' I think our bride comes slowly on.' 

6 ' O lady, sits your saddle awry, 

Or is your steed for you owre high ? ' 

7 ' My saddle is not set awry, 

Nor carries me my steed owre high ; 

8 ' But I am weary of my life, 

Since I maun be Lord Bothwell's wife.' 

9 He 's blawn his horn sae sharp and shrill, 
Up start the deer on evry hill. 

10 He 's blawn his horn sae lang and loud, 
Up start the deer in gude green-wood. 

11 His lady mother lookit owre the castle wa, 
And she saw them riding ane and a'. 

12 She 's calld upon her maids by seven, 

To mak his bed baith saft and even. 
\ 

13 She 's calld upon her cooks by nine, 
To make their dinner fair and fine. 



14 When day was gane, and night was come, 
' What ails my love on me to frown ? 

15 ' Or does the wind blow in your glove ? 
Or runs your mind on another love ? ' 

16 ' Nor blows the wind within my glove, 
Nor runs my mind on another love ; 

17 ' But I nor maid nor maiden am, 
For I 'm wi bairn to another man.' 

18 ' I thought I 'd a maiden sae meek and sae 

mild, 
But I 've nought but a woman wi child.' 

19 His mother 's taen her up to a tower, 
And lockit her in her secret bower. 

20 ' Now, doughter mine, come tell to me, 
Wha's bairn this is that you are wi.' 

21 ' mother dear, I canna learn 
Wha is the faither of my bairn. 

22 ' But as I walkd in the lowlands my lane, 
I met a gentleman gallant and fine. 

23 ' He keepit me there sae late and sae lang, 
Frae the evning late till the morning dawn. 

24 ' And a' that he gied me to my propine 

Was a pair of green gloves and a gay gold 
ring; 

25 ' Three lauchters of his yellow hair, 
In case that we shoud meet nae mail*.' 

26 His lady mother went down the stair : 



27 ' Now son, now son, come tell to me, 

Where 's the green gloves I gave to thee ? ' 



80 



5. GIL BRENTON 



28 ' I gied to a lady sae fair and so fine 
The green gloves and a gay gold ring. 

29 ' But I wad gie my castles and towers, 
I had that lady within my bowers. 

30 ' But I wad gie my very life, 

I had that lady to be my wife.' 



31 ' Now keep, now keep your castles and towers, 
You have that lady within your bowers. 

32 ' Now keep, now keep your very life, 
You have that lady to be your wife.' 

33 ' row my lady in sattin and silk, 
And wash my son in the morning milk.' 



H 



Kinlocli MSS, v, 335, in the handwriting of Dr John Hill 
Burton. 

1 WE were seven sisters in a bower, 

Adown adown, and adown and adown 
The flower of a' fair Scotland ower. 
Adown adown, and adown and adown 

2 We were sisters, sisters seven, 
The fairest women under heaven. 

3 There fell a dispute us amang, 
Wha would to the greenwood gang. 

4 They kiest the kevels them amang, 
O wha would to the greenwood gar.g. 

5 The kevels they gied thro the ha, 
And on the youngest it did fa. 

6 The kevel fell into her hand, 

To greenwood she was forced to gang. 



7 She hedna pued a flower but ane, ^ 
When by there came an earl's son. 

8 ( And was he well or was he wae, 
He keepet me that summer's day.' 

9 And was he weel or was he weight, 
He keepet her that summer's night. 

10 And he gave her a gay goud ring 
His mother got at her wedding. 

* * * * 

11 ' Oh is yer stirrup set too high ? 
Or is your saddle set awry ? 

12 ' Oh is yer stirrup set too side ? 

Or what 's the reason ye canna ride ? ' 

* * * * 

13 When all were at the table set, 
Then not a bit could this lady eat. 

14 When all made merry at the feast, 
This lady wished she were at her rest. 



A. a. In the MS. two lines are written contin 
uously, and two of these double lines numbered 
as one stanza. 

19 1 , 23 1 , 69 2 , 71 2 , perhaps gate, gates in MS. 
54 1 , MS. be a nae. 56. 1 casket in MS. ? 
b. 1. 

Chil Brenton has sent oer the faem, 
Chil Brenton 's brought his lady hame. 

B. Printed by Scott in four-line stanzas. 

7, 55, 56, 58, 61, seem to be the stanzas trans 
ferred from Herd, but only the last without 
change. 



C. The stanzas are not divided in Cromek. Be 
tween 14 and 15 the following nineteen 
couplets have been omitted. 

First blew the sweet, the simmer wind, 
Then autumn wi her breath sae kind, 
Before that eer the guid knight came 
The tokens of his luve to claim.. 
Then fell the brown an yellow leaf 
Afore the knight o luve shawed prief ; 
Three morns the winter's rime did fa, 
When loud at our yett my luve did ca. 
' Ye hae daughters, ye hae seven, 
Ye hae the fairest under heaven. 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



81 



I am the lord o lands wide, 
Ane o them maun be my bride. 
I am lord of a baronie, 
Ane o them maun lie wi me. 

cherry lips are sweet to pree, 
A rosie cheek 's meet for the ee ; 
Lang brown locks a heart can bind, 
Bonny black een in luve are kind ; 
Sma white arms for clasping 's meet, 
Whan laid atween the bridal-sheets ; 
A kindlie heart is best of a', 

An debonnairest in the ha. 
Ane by ane thae things are sweet, 
Ane by ane in luve they 're meet ; 
But when they a' in ae maid bide, 
She is fittest for a bride. 
Sae be it weel or be it wae, 
The youngest maun be my ladie ; 
Sae be it gude, sae be it meet, 
She maun warm my bridal-sheet. 

Little kend he, whan aff he rode, 

1 was his tokend luve in the wood ; 

Or when he gied me the wedding-token, 

He was sealing the vows he thought were broken. 

First came a page on a milk-white steed, 

Wi golden trappings on his head : 

A' gowden was the saddle lap, 

And gowden was the page's cap. 

15-21 have been allowed to stand principally 
on account of 18. 



There is small risk in pronouncing 24. 25, 42, 
43, 80, 81 spurious, and Cunningham sur 
passes his usual mawkishness in 83. 
E is written in four-line stanzas. 

19. mother, in the margin, 

20. lady, in the margin. 

F. a. 7 2 . MS. Till [Still?]. 

7 2 and 8, 17 and 18 1 , 20 1 and 21, 23 1 and 24, 
32 and 33' 2 , 50 1 and 51, are respectively 
written as a stanza in the MS. 

12 1 , 41 1 . Motherwell conjectures 

Would I wait, or would I away. 
13 *, 42 1 . Motherwell conjectures 
Would I away, or would I wait. 

14 2 , 43 2 . MS. green sleeves : but see 51 1 , and 

also B 22 1 , G 24 2 , 28 2 . 
29 2 , above you do not know 't is written know 

not who till, apparently a conjecture ofMoth- 

erweWs. 
30 2 , sometimes recited 

Till owre the bed this lady he Hang. 
53 1 . MS. abroad. 

b. 1. Seven ladies livd in a bower, 

Hey down and ho down 
And aye the youngest was the flower. 
Hey down and ho down 

G. The stanzas are not divided in Herd. 

H. 4 is crossed through in the MS., but no reason 
given. 



6 
WILLIE'S LADY 



a. ' Willie's Lady,' Fraser-Tytler MS. 



b. 'Sweet Willy,' Jamieson-Brown MS., No 15, fol. 
33. 



a, ' Willie's Lady,' was No 1 in the manu 
script of fifteen ballads furnished William Tyt- 
ler by Mrs Brown in 1783, and having been 
written down a little later than b may be re 
garded as a revised copy. This manuscript, 
as remarked under No 5, is not now in the 
11 



possession of the Fraser-Tytler family, having 
often been most liberally lent, and, probably, 
at last not returned. But a transcript had 
been made by the grandfather of the present 
family of two of the pieces contained in it, 
and ' Willie's Lady ' is one of these two. 



82 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



Lewis had access to William Tytler's copy, 
and, having regulated the rhymes, filled out 
a gap, dropped the passage about the girdle, 
and made other changes to his taste, printed 
the ballad in 1801 as No 56 of his Tales of 
Wonder. The next year Scott gave the " an 
cient copy, never before published," " in its 
native simplicity, as taken .from Mrs Brown of 
Falkland's MS.," William Tytler's, in 
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, n, 27, but 
not with literal accuracy. Jamieson, in 1806, 
gave ' Sweet Willy,' almost exactly according 
to the text of his Brown manuscript, in an 
appendix to the second volume of his collec 
tion, p. 367, and at p. 175 of the same volume, 
a reconstruction of the ballad which might 
have been spared. 

b lacks altogether the passage which makes 
proffer of the cup, a, stanzas 5-11, and substi 
tutes at that place the girdle of a 21-28. The 
woodbine in a 36, 41, is also wanting, and the 
concluding stanza. A deficiency both in mat 
ter and rhyme at a 32 is supplied by b 25, 
26, but not happily : 

' An do you to your mither then, 

An bid her come to your boy's christnen ; 

' For dear 's the boy he 's been to you : 
Then notice well what she shall do.' 

Again, the transition in a, from st. 33 to 
st. 34, is abrupt even for a ballad, and b in 
troduces here four stanzas narrating the ex 
ecution of the Billy Blind's injunctions, and 
ending, 

And notic'd well what she did say, 

whereby we are prepared for the witch's ex 
clamations.* 

Danish versions of this ballad are numerous : 
A-I, 'Hustru og Mands Moder' [' Fostermoder,' 
'Stifmoder'], Grundtvig, No 84, n, 404 ff: 
J-T, ' Hustru og Mands Moder,' Kristensen, 
II, 111 ff, No 35 : U-X, ' Barselkvinden,' Kris- 



* The Jamieson-Brown copy contains seventy-eight 
verses ; Scott's and the Tytler copy, eighty-eight. Dr An 
derson's, Nichols's Illustrations, vn, 176, counts seventy -six 
instead of eighty-eight ; but, judging by the description which 
Anderson has given of the Alexander-Fraser-Tytler-Brown 



tensen, I, 201 ff, No 74 : Y, ' Hustru og Sleg- 
fred,' Grundtvig, No 85, n, 448 ff: in all 
twenty-five, but many of Kristensen's copies 
are fragments. Grundtvig's 84 A, B, and 85 a 
are from manuscripts of the sixteenth century. 
84 F-I and several repetitions of 85 are of the 
seventeenth. Grundtvig's 84 C, D, E, and all 
Kristensen's versions, are from recent oral tra 
dition. Some of these, though taken down 
since 1870, are wonderfully well preserved. 

The Danish ballads divide into two classes, 
principally distinguished by their employing 
or not employing of the artifice of wax chil 
dren. (There is but one of these in N, R, 
Kristensen's B, I, n, 116, 122, and in the oldest 
Swedish ballad, as in the Scottish : but chil 
dren in Scandinavian ballads are mostly born 
in pairs.) Of the former class, to which our 
only known copy belongs, are F-I, N-T, X 
(Grundtvig, 84 F-I, Kristensen, n, No 35, E- 
L, I, No 74 D). N and I furnish, perhaps, the 
most consistent story, which, in the former, 
runs thus : Sir Peter married Ellen (else 
where Mettelille, Kirstin, Tidelil, Ingerlil), 
and gave her in charge to his mother, a for 
midable witch, and, as appears from F, vio 
lently opposed to the match. The first night 
of her marriage Ellen conceived twins. She 
wrapped up her head in her cloak and paid a 
visit to her mother-in-law, to ask how long 
women go with child. The answer was, 

' Forty weeks went Mary with Christ, 
And so each Danish woman must. 

' Forty weeks I went with mine, 

But eight years shalt thou go with tliine.' 

The forty weeks had passed, and Ellen be 
gan to long for relief. Sir Peter besought aid 
of his sister Ingerlin. If I help your young 
bride, she said, I must be traitor to my mother. 
Sir Peter insisted, and Ingerlin moulded a fine 
child of wax,f wrapped it in linen, and exhib 
ited it to her mother, who, supposing that her 

MS., at p. 179, he is not exact. Still, so large a discrepancy 
is hard to explain. 

t The sister does this in F-I and S : in O, P, the husband 
" has " it done. 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



83 



arts had been baffled, burst out into exclama 
tions of astonishment. She had thought she 
could twist a rope out of flying sand, lay sun 
and moon flat on the earth with a single word, 
turn the whole world round about ! She had 
thought all the house was spell-bound, except 
the spot where the young wife's chest stood, 
the chest of reel rowan, which nothing can be 
witch ! The chest was instantly taken away, 
and Ellen's bed moved .to the place it had 
occupied ; and no sopner was this done than 
Ellen gave birth to two children. 

In the ballads of the other class, the young 
wife, grown desperate after eight years of suf 
fering, asks to be taken back to her maiden 
home. Her husband's mother raises objec 
tions : the horses are in the meadow, the 
coachman is in bed. Then, she says, I will go 
on my bare feet. The moment her husband 
learns her wish, the carriage is at the door, but 
by the arts of the mother it goes to pieces on 
the way, and the journey has to be finished on 
horseback. The joy of her parents at seeing 
their daughter approaching was quenched on 
a nearer view : she looked more dead than 
quick. She called her family about her and 
distributed her effects. A great wail went up 
in the house when two sons were cut from the 
mother's side. (C, J, K, L, W: Grundtvig, 
84 C ; Kristensen, n, No 35 A, B, C ; I, No 
74 C.) 

The first son stood up and brushed his hair : 
' Most surely am I in my ninth year.' 

The second stood up both fair and red : 

' Most sure we '11 avenge our dear mother dead.' * 

Several of the most important ballads of 
the first class have taken up a part of the story 
of those of the second class, to the detriment 
of consistency. F, G, H, O, P (Grundtvig, 84 
F, G, H, Kristensen, II, No 35 F, G), make 
the wife quit her husband's house for her fa 
ther's, not only without reason, but against 
reason. If the woman is to die, it is natural 
enough that she should wish to die with the 
friends of her early days, and away from her 

* Grundtvig, 84 D, B; Kristensen, i, No 74 A, B, C ; 
n, No 35 A, B, C. 



uncongenial mother-in-law; but there is no 
kind of occasion for transferring the scene of 
the trick with the wax children to her father's 
house ; and, on the other hand, it is altogether 
strange that her husband's mother and the 
rowan-tree chest (which sometimes appears 
to be the property of the mother, sometimes 
that of the wife) should go with her. 

Y, * Hustru og Slegfred,' Grundtvig, 85, 
agrees with the second class up to the point 
when the wife is put to bed at her mother's 
house, but with the important variation that 
the spell is the work of a former mistress of 
the husband ; instead of his mother, as in most 
of the ballads, or of the wife's foster-mother, 
as in C, D, J, K, M (Grundtvig, 84 C, D, Kris 
tensen, n, No 35 A, B, D), or of the wife's 
step-mother as in A only. The conclusion of 
' Hustru og Slegfred ' is rather flat. The 
wife, as she lies in bed, bids all her household 
hold up their hands and pray for her relief, 
which occurs on the same day. The pews is 
sent to her husband, who rejoins his wife, is 
shown his children, praises God, and burns his 
mistress. Burning is also the fate of the 
mother-in-law in B, I, O, P, whereas in F she 
dies of chagrin, and in G bursts into a hun 
dred flinders (flentsteene). 

This ballad, in the mixed form of O, P 
(Kristensen, n, 35 F, G), has been resolved 
into a tale in Denmark, a few lines of verse 
being retained. Recourse is had by the spell 
bound wife to a cunning woman in the vil 
lage, who informs her that in her house there 
is a place in which a rowan-tree chest has 
stood, and that she can get relief there. The 
cunning woman subsequently pointing out the 
exact spot, two boys are born, who are seven 
years old, and can both walk and talk. Word 
is sent the witch that her son's wife has been 
delivered of two sons, and that she herself 
shall be burned the day following. The witch 
says, " I have been able to twine a string out 
of running water. If I have not succeeded 
in bewitching the woman, she must have found 
the place where the damned rowan chest 
stood." (Grundtvig, in, 858, No 84 b.) 

Three Swedish versions of the ballad have 
been printed. A, B, from tradition of this 



84 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



century, are given by Arwidsson, n, 252 ff, 
' Liten Kerstins Fortrollning,' No 134. These 
resemble the Danish ballads of the second 
class closely. Liten Kerstin goes to her moth 
er's house, gives birth to two children, and 
dies. In A the children are a son and daughter. 
The son stands up, combs his hair, and says, 
" I am forty weeks on in my ninth year." 
He can run errands in the village, and the 
daughter sew red silk. In B both children 
are boys. One combs his hair, and says, " Our 
grandmother shall be put on two wheels." 
The other draws his sword, and says, " Our 
mother is dead, our grandmother to blame. 
I hope our mother is with God. Our grand 
mother shall be laid on seven wheels." The 
other copy, C, mentioned by Grundtvig as 
being in Cavallius and Stephens' manuscript 
collection, has been printed in the Svenska 
Fornminnesforeningens Tidskrift, vol. ii, p. 
72 ff, 1873-74. It dates from the close of the 
sixteenth century, and resembles the mixed 
ballads of the Danish first class, combining 
the flitting to the father's house with the ar 
tifice of the wax children. The conclusion of 
this ballad has suffered greatly. After the 
two sons are born, we are told that Kirstin, 
before unmentioned, goes to the chest and 
makes a wax child. If the chest were moved, 
Elin would be free of her child. And then the 
boy stands up and brushes his hair, and says 
he has come to his eighth year. 

Three stanzas and some of the incidents of 
a Norwegian version of this ballad have been 
communicated to Grundtvig, m, 858 f, No 
84 c, by Professor Sophus Bugge. The only 
place which was unaffected by a spell was 
where Signelfti's bride-chest stood, and the 
chest being removed, the birth took place. 
The witch was a step-mother, as in Danish A. 

There are two familiar cases of malicious 
arrest of childbirth in classic mythology, 
those of Latona and Alcmene. The wrath of 
Juno was the cause in both, and perhaps the 
myth of Alcmene is only a repetition of an 
older story, with change of name. The pangs 

* Eadem amatoris sui uxorem, quod in earn dicacule pro- 
brum dixerat, jam in sarcina praegnationis, obsaepto utero 
et repigrato fetu, perpetua praegnatione damnavit, et, ut 



of Latona were prolonged through nine days 
and nights, at the end of which time Ilithyia 
came to her relief, induced by a bribe. (Hymn 
to the Delian Apollo, 91 ff.) Homer, II. xix, 
119, says only that Hera stopped the delivery 
of Alcmene and kept back Ilithyia. Anto 
ninus Liberalis, in the second century of our 
era, in one of his abstracts from the Meta 
morphoses of Nicander, a poem of the second 
century B. C., or earlier, has this account: 
that when Alcmene was going with Hercules, 
the Fates and Ilithyia, to please Juno, kept 
her in her pains by sitting down and folding 
their hands ; and that Galinthias, a playmate 
and companion of Alcmene, fearing that the 
suffering would drive her mad, ran out and 
announced the birth of a boy, upon which the 
Fates were seized with such consternation that 
they let go their hands, and Hercules imme 
diately came into the world. (Antoninus Lib., 
Metam. c. xxix.) Ovid, Metamorphoses, ix, 
281-315, is more circumstantial. After seven 
days and nights of torture, Lucina came, but, 
being bribed by Juno, instead of giving the aid 
for which she was invoked, sat down on the al 
tar before Alcmene's door, with the right knee 
crossed over the left, and fingers interlocked, 
mumbling charms which checked the processes 
of birth. Galanthis, a servant girl media de 
plebe, was shrewd enough to suspect that Juno 
had some part in this mischief ; and besides, as 
she went in and out of the house, she always 
saw Lucina sitting on the altar, with her hands 
clasped over her knees. At last, by a happy 
thought, she called out, " Whoever you are, 
wish my mistress joy ; she is lighter, and has 
her wish." Lucina jumped up and unclasped 
her hands, and the birth followed instantly. 
Pausanias, ix, 11, tells a similar but briefer 
story, in which Historis, daughter of Tiresias, 
takes the place of Galanthis. See, for the 
whole matter, * Ilithyia oder die Hexe,' in 
C. A. Bottiger's Kleine Schriften, I, 76 ff. 

Apuleius, in his Metamorphoses, mentions 
a case of suspended childbirth, which, curiously 
enough, had lasted eight years,* as in the Dan- 

cuncti numerant, jam octo annorum onere misella ilia velut 
elephantum paritura distenditur. i, 9. 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



85 



ish and Swedish ballads. The witch is a mis 
tress of her victim's husband, as in Grundtvig, 
85, and as in a story cited by Scott from Hey- 
wood's Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels,' p. 
474. " There is a curious tale about a Count of 
Westeravia [Vestravia, in diocesi Argentora- 
tensi], whom a deserted concubine bewitched 
upon his marriage, so as to preclude all hopes 
of his becoming a father. The spell continued 
to operate for three years, till one day, the 
count happening to meet with his former mis 
tress, she maliciously asked him about the in 
crease of his family. The count, conceiving 
some suspicion from her manner, craftily an 
swered that God had blessed him with three 
fine children ; on which she exclaimed, like 
Willie's mother in the ballad, ' May Heaven 
confound the old hag by whose counsel I 
threw an enchanted pitcher into the draw-well 
of your palace ! ' The spell being found and 
destroyed, the count became the father of a 
numerous family." 

A story like that of the ballad is told as a 
fact that took place in Arran within this cent 
ury. A young man forsook his sweetheart 
and married another girl. When the wife's 
time came, she suffered excessively. A pack 
man who was passing suspected the cause, 
went straight to the old love, and told her 
that a fine child was born ; when up she 
sprang, and pulled out a large nail from the 
beam of the roof, calling out to her mother, 
" Muckle good your craft has done ! " The 
wife was forthwith delivered. (Napier, in 
The Folklore Record, n, 117.) 

In the Sicilian tales, collected by Laura 
Gonzenbach, Nos 12 and 15, we have the spell 
of folded hands placed between the knees to 
prevent birth, and in No 54 hands raised to 
the head.* In all these examples the spell is 
finally broken by telling the witch a piece of 
false news, which causes her to forget herself 

* We may suppose with closed fingers, or clasping the 
head, though this is not said. Antique vases depict one or 
two Ilithyias as standing by with hands elevated and open, 



and take away her hands. (Sicilianische Mar 
ch en aus dem Volksmund gesammelt, Leip- 
zig, 1870.) _ 

We find in a Roumanian tale, contributed 
to Das Ausland for 1857, p. 1029, by F. Obert, 
and epitomized by Grundtvig, in, 859, No 
84 d, a wife condemned by her offended hus 
band to go with child till he lays his hand 
upon her. It is twenty years before she ob 
tains grace, and the son whom she then bears 
immediately slays his father. A Wallachian 
form of this story (Walachische Marchen von 
Arthur u. Albert Schott, No 23) omits the re 
venge by the new-born child, and ends hap 
pily. 

With respect to the knots in st. 34, it is to 
be observed that the tying of knots (as also 
the fastening of locks), either during the mar 
riage ceremony or at the approach of partu 
rition was, and is still, believed to be effectual 
for preventing conception or childbirth. The 
minister' of Logierait, Perthshire, testifies, 
about the year 1793, that immediately be 
fore the celebration of a marriage it is the 
custom to loosen carefully every knot about 
bride and bridegroom, garters, shoe-strings, 
etc. The knots are tied again before they 
leave the church. (Statistical Account of Scot 
land, v, 83.) So among the Laps and Nor 
wegians, when a child is to be born, all the 
knots in the woman's clothes, or even all the 
knots in the house, must be untied, because 
of their impeding delivery. (Liebrecht, Zur 
Volkskunde, p. 322, who also cites the Statis 
tical Account of Scotland.) 

Willie's Lady is translated by Schubart, p. 
74, Talvj, p. 555, and by Gerhard, p. 139. 
Grundtvig, 84 H (= Syv, 90, Danske Viser, 
43), is translated by Jamieson, Illustrations of 
Northern Antiquities, p. 344, and by Prior, 
No 89. 

during the birth of Athene from the head of Zens. Welcker, 
Kleine Schriften, m, 191, note 12. 



86 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



a. A copy, by Miss Mary Fraser Tytler, of a transcript 
made by her grandfather from William Tytler's manuscript. 
b. Jamieson-Brown MS., No 15, fol.33. 

1 WILLIE has taen him oer the fame, 

He 's woo'd a wife and brought her hame. 

2 He 's woo'd her for her yellow hair, 
But his mother wrought her mickle care. 

3 And mickle dolour gard her dree, 
For lighter she can never he. 

4 But in her bower she sits wi pain, 
And Willie mourns oer her in vain. 

5 And to his mother he has gone, 
That vile rank witch of vilest kind. 

6 He says : ' My ladie has a cup, 
Wi gowd and silver set about. 

7 ' This goodlie gift shall be your ain, 
And let her be lighter o her young bairn.' 

8 ' Of her young bairn she '11 neer be lighter, 
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter. 

9 ' But she shall die and turn to clay, 
And you shall wed another may.' 

10 ' Another may I '11 never wed, 
Another may I '11 neer bring home.' 

11 But sighing says that weary wight, . 
' I wish my life were at an end.' 

12 ' Ye doe [ye] unto your mother again, 
That vile rank witch of vilest kind. 

13 ' And say your ladie has a steed, 

The like o 'm 's no in the lands of Leed. 

14 ' For he [i]s golden shod before, 
And he [i]s golden shod behind. 

15 ' And at ilka tet of that horse's main, 
There 's a golden chess and a bell ringing. 

16 ' This goodlie gift shall be your ain, 

And let me be lighter of my young bairn.' 



17 ' her young bairn she '11 neer be lighter, 
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter. 

18 ' But she shall die and turn to clay, 
And ye shall wed another may.' 

19 ' Another may I ['11] never wed, 
Another may I ['11] neer bring hame.' 

20 But sighing said that weary wight, 
' I wish my life were at an end.' 

21 ' Ye doe [ye] unto your mother again, 
That vile rank witch of vilest kind. 

22 ' And say your ladie has a girdle, 
It 's red gowd unto the middle. 

23 ' And ay at every silver hem, 
Hangs fifty silver bells and ten. 

24 ' That goodlie gift has be her ain, 

And let me be lighter of my young bairn.' 

25 ' O her young bairn she 's neer be lighter, 
Nor in her bower to shine the brighter. 

26 ' But she shall die and turn to clay, 
And you shall wed another may.' 

27 ' Another may I '11 never wed, 
Another may I '11 neer bring hame.' 

28 But sighing says that weary wight, 
' I wish my life were at an end.' 

29 Then out and spake the Belly Blind ; 
He spake aye in good time. 

30 ' Ye doe ye to the market place, 
And there ye buy a loaf o wax. 

31 ' Ye shape it bairn and bairnly like, 
And in twa glassen een ye pit ; 

32 ' And bid her come to your boy's christening ; 
Then notice weel what she shall do. 

33 ' And do you stand a little fore bye, 
And listen weel what she shall say.' 



6. WILLIE'S LADY 



87 



34 ' Oh wha has loosed the nine witch knots 
That was amo that ladle's locks ? 

35 ' And wha has taen out the kaims of care 
That hangs amo that ladle's hair ? 

36 ' And wha 's taen down the bush o woodhine 
That hang atween her bower and mine ? 

37 ' And wha has killd the master kid 
That ran beneath that ladle's bed ? 

38 ' And wha has loosed her left-foot shee, 
And lotten that ladie lighter be ? ' 

39 Willie has loosed the nine witch knots 
That was amo that ladie's locks. 



40 And Willie 's taen out the kaims o care 
That hang amo that ladie's hair. 

41 And Willie 's taen down the bush o woodbine 
That hang atween her bower and thine. 

42 And Willie has killed the master kid 
That ran beneath that ladie's bed. 

43 And Willie has loosed her left-foot shee, 
And letten his ladie lighter be. 

44 And now he 's gotten a bonny young son, 
And mickle grace be him upon. 



a. The stanzas are not regularly divided in the 

MS., nor were they so divided by Scott. 
41 2 . hung (?) beneath : but see 36 2 . 
Scott's principal variations are : 
12 1 . Yet gae ye. 
14 1 . For he is silver shod. 

15. At every tuft of that horse main 

There 's a golden chess and a bell to ring. 

21 1 . Yet gae ye. 2 . o rankest kind. 

22 s . It 's a' red gowd to. 

24 1 . This gudely gift sail be. 

26 1 . For she. 

28 2 . my days. 

30 1 . Yet gae ye. 2 . there do buy. 

31 1 . Do shape. 2 . you '11 put. 

32 1 . And bid her your boy's christening to. 

33 1 . a little away. 2 . To notice weel what she 

may saye. 

35 2 . That were amang. 
38 2 . And let. 
39 1 . Syne Willie. 
40 2 . That were into. 

41 1 , 42 1 , 43 1 . And he. 

41 2 . Hung atween her hour and the witch car- 
line. 

44 2 . a bonny son. 

b. Divided in Jamiesorfs MS. into stanzas of four 

verses, two verses being written in one line: 
but Jamiesoris 8 = a 14-16. 
I 1 . Sweet Willy 's taen. 



5-11, wanting. Instead of the cup, the girdle 

occurs here : = & 21-28. 
12 1 . He did him till. 2 . wilest kin. 
13 1 . An said, My lady. 
14 1 , 2 . he is. 

16 2 . An lat her be lighter o her young bairn. 
18 1 . go to clay, 
a 21 1 = b 5 1 . Now to his mither he has gane. 

2 . kin. 
a 22 1 = b 6 1 . He say[s] my lady. 2 . It 's a' 

red. 

a 23 1 = b 7 1 . at ilka. 2 . Kings, 
a 24 1 = b 8 1 . gift sail be your ain. 2 . lat her 

. . . o her. 
a 29 = b 22. Then out it spake the belly Win ; 

She spake ay in a good time, 
a 32 = b 25, 26. 

An do you to your mither then, An bid her 
come to your boy's cbristnen ; 

For dear 's the boy he 's been to you : Then no 
tice well what she shall do. 

Between a 33 and a 34 occurs in b (28-31) : 

He did him" to the market place, An there he 

bought a loaf o wax. 
He shap'd it bairn and bairnly like, An in't twa 

glazen een he pat. 
He did him till his mither then, An bade him 

(sic) to his boy's christnen. 
An he did stan a little forebye, An notic'd well 

what she did say. 






88 



7. EARL BRAND 



a 35 2 = b 33 2 . hang amo. 

36. wanting in b. 

37 2 . aneath. 

39 2 = b 36 2 . hang amo his. 

40 1 . kemb o care. 2 . his lady's. 

41. wanting in b. 



42 2 = b 38 2 . ran aneath his. 

44. wanting in b. 

b 22 2 makes the Billy Blind feminine. This 
is not so in a, or in any other ballad, and 
may be only an error of the transcriber, who 
has not always written carefully. 



EARL BRAND 

A. a. b. ' Earl Bran,' Mr Robert White's papers. C. ' Lord Douglas,' Motherwell's MS., p. 502. 
c. ' The Brave Earl Brand and the King of England's 

Daughter,' Bell, Ancient Poems, etc., p. 122. d. D. 'Lady Margaret,' Kinloch MSS, i, 327. 
Fragmentary verses remembered by Mr R. White's 

sister. B. ' The Douglas Tragedy,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 

p. 180. 

B. ' The Douglas Tragedy,' Scott's Minstrelsy, in, 246, 

ed. 1803. F. 'The Child of Ell,' Percy MS., p. 57; Hales and 

Furnivall, i, 133. 



' Earl Brand,' first given to the world by 
Mr Robert Bell in 1857, has preserved most 
of the incidents of a very ancient story with a 
faithfulness unequalled by any ballad that has 
been recovered from English oral tradition. 
Before the publication of ' Earl Brand,' A c, 
our known inheritance in this particular was 
limited to the beautiful but very imperfect 
fragment called by Scott ' The Douglas Trag 
edy,' B ; half a dozen stanzas of another ver 
sion of the same in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 
B ; so much of Percy's ' Child of Elle ' as was 
genuine, which, upon the printing of his man 
uscript, turned out to be one fifth, F ; and 
two versions of Erlinton, A, C.* What 
now can be added is but little : two tran 
scripts of 'Earl Brand,' one of which, A a, 
has suffered less from literary revision than 
the only copy hitherto printed, A c ; a third 
version of ' The Douglas Tragedy,' from Moth 
erwell's manuscript, C ; a fourth from Kin- 
loch's manuscripts, D ; and another of ' Er- 

* 'Erlinton/ though not existing in a two-line stanza, 
follows immediately after ' Earl Brand.' The copy of ' The 
Douglas Tragedy' in Smith's Scottish Minstrel, in, 86, is 
merely Scott's, with changes to facilitate singing. 



linton,' B. Even ' Earl Brand ' has lost a 
circumstance that forms the turning-point in 
Scandinavian ballads, and this capital defect 
attends all our other versions, though traces 
which remain in ' Erlinton ' make it nearly 
certain that our ballads originally agreed in 
all important particulars with those which are 
to this day recited in the north of Europe. 

The corresponding Scandinavian ballad 
is ' Ribold and Guldborg,' and it is a jewel 
that any clime might envy. Up to the time 
of Grundtvig's edition, in Danmarks gamle 
Folkeviser, No 82, though four versions had 
been printed, the only current copy for a hun 
dred and fifty years had been Syv's No 88, 
based on a broadside of the date 1648, but 
compounded from several sources ; and it was 
in this form that the ballad became known 
to the English through Jamieson's translation. 
Grundtvig has now published twenty-seven 
versions of ' Ribold og Guldborg ' (n, 347 ff, 
nineteen ; 675 ff, four ; in, 849 ff, four : f 

t B*, in, 853, a fragment of five stanzas, has been 
dropped by Grundtvig from No 82, and assigned to No 249. 
See D. g. F. iv, 494. 



7. EARL BRAND 



89 



of all which only two are fragments), and nine 
of Hildebrand og Hilde,' No 83, which is 
the same story set in a dramatic frame-work 
(n, 393 ff , seven : 680 f, one ; in, 857, one, a 
fragment). Three more Danish versions of 
' Ribold og Guldborg ' are furnished by Kris- 
tensen, Gamle jydske Folkeviser, I, No 37, n, 
No 84 A, B (C*, D*, E*). To these we may 
add the last half, sts 15-30, of ' Den farlige 
Jomfru,' Grundtvig, 184 G. Of Grundtvig's 
texts, 82 A is of the sixteenth century ; B-H 
are of the seventeenth; the remainder and 
Kristensen's three from recent tradition. Six 
versions of ' Hildebrand og Hilde,' A-P, are 
of the seventeenth century; one is of the 
eighteenth, G ; and the remaining two are 
from oral tradition of our day. 

The first six of Grundtvig's versions of ' Ri 
bold and Guldborg,' A-F, are all from manu 
scripts, and all of a pure traditional char 
acter, untampered with by " collators." G and 
H are mixed texts : they have F for their 
basis, but have admitted stanzas from other 
sources. Most of the versions from recitation 
are wonderful examples and proofs of the 
fidelity with which simple people " report and 
hold " old tales : for, as the editor has shown, 
verses which never had been printed, but 
which are found in old manuscripts, are now 
met with in recited copies ; and these recited 
copies, again, have verses that occur in no Dan 
ish print or manuscript, but which neverthe 
less are found in Norwegian and Swedish reci 
tations, and, what is more striking, in Ice 
landic tradition of two hundred years' stand 
ing. 

The story in the older Danish ballads runs 
thus. Ribold, a king's son, sought Guldborg's 
love in secret. He said he would carry her 
to a land .where death and sorrow came not ; 
where all the birds were cuckoos, and all the 
grass was leeks, and all the streams ran wine. 
Guldborg, not indisposed, asked how she 
should evade the watch kept over her by all 
her family and by her betrothed. Ribold dis 
guised her in his cloak and armor, B, B, F, 
and rode off, with Guldborg behind him. On 
the heath they meet a rich earl [a crafty man, 
C ; her betrothed, D], who asks, Whither away, 
12 



with your stolen maid ? [little page, B, F.] 
Ribold replies that it is his youngest sister, 
whom he has taken from a cloister, A, E [sick 
sister, C ; brother, B, F ; page, D]. This shift 
avails nothing ; no more does a bribe which 
he offers for keeping his secret. Report is at 
once made to her father that Guldborg has 
eloped with Ribold. Guldborg perceives that 
they are pursued, and is alarmed. Ribold re 
assures her, and prepares to meet his foes. 
He bids Guldborg hold his horse, B, C, E, and, 
whatever may happen, not to call him by 
name: " Though thou see me bleed, name me 
not to death ; though thou see me fall, name 
me not at all ! " Ribold cuts down six or 
seven of her brothers and her father, besides 
others of her kin ; the youngest brother only 
is left, and Guldborg in an agony calls upon 
Ribold to spare him, to carry tidings to her 
mother. No sooner was his name pronounced 
than Ribold received a mortal wound. He 
sheathed his sword, and said, Come, wilt 
thou ride with me ? Wilt thou go home to 
thy mother again, or wilt thou follow so sad 
a swain? And she answered, I will not 
go home to my mother again ; I will follow 
thee, my heart's dearest man. They rode 
through the wood, and not a word came from 
the mouth of either. Guldborg asked, Why 
art thou not as glad as before ? And Ribold 
answered, Thy brother's sword has been in 
my heart. They reached his house. He 
called to one to take his horse, to another to 
bring a priest, and said his brother should 
have Guldborg. But she would not give her 
faith to two brothers. Ribold died that night, 
C. Three dead came from Ribold's bower: 
Ribold and his lief, and his mother, who died 
of grief ! In A Guldborg slays herself, and 
dies in her lover's arms. 

' Hildebrand and Hilde,' A, B, C, D, opens 
with the heroine in a queen's service, sewing 
her seam wildly, putting silk for gold and gold 
for silk. The queen calls her to account. 
Hilde begs her mistress to listen to her tale 
of sorrow. She was a king's daughter. Twelve 
knights had been appointed to be her guard, 
and one had beguiled her, Hildebrand, son of 
the king of England. They went off together, 



90 



7. EARL BRAND 



and were surprised by her brothers [father, B, 
C, D]. Hildebrand bade her be of good 
cheer ; but she must not call him by name if 
she saw him bleed or fall, A, B, D. A heap 
of knights soon lay at his feet. Hilde forgot 
herself, and called out, Hildebrand, spare 
my youngest brother ! Hildebrand that in 
stant received a mortal wound, and fell. The 
younger brother tied her to his horse, and 
dragged her home. They shut her up at first 
in a strong tower, built for the purpose, A, 
B [Swedish A, a dark house], and afterwards 
sold her into servitude for a church bell. Her 
mother's heart broke at the bell's first stroke, 
and Hilde, with the last word of her tale, fell 
dead in the queen's arms. 

The most important deviation of the later 
versions from the old is exhibited by S and T, 
and would probably be observed in Q, R, as 
well, were these complete. S, T are either a 
mixture of ' Ribold and Guldborg ' with ' Hil 
debrand and Hilde,' or forms transitional be 
tween the two. In these Ribold does not live 
to reach his home, and Guldborg, unable to 
return to hers, offers herself to a queen, to 
spin silk and weave gold [braid hair and work 
gold]. But she cannot sew for grief. The 
queen smacks her on the cheek for neglecting 
her needle. Poor Guldborg utters a protest, 
but gives no explanation, and the next morn 
ing is found dead. Singularly enough, the 
name of the hero in Q, R, S, T, is also an in 
termediate form. Ribold is the name in all 
the old Danish copies except C, and that has 
Ride-bolt. Danish I, K, X, Z, all the Ice 
landic copies, and Swedish D, have either Ri 
bold or some unimportant variation. Q, R, S, 
have Ride-brand [T, Rederbrand]. All copies 
of Grundtvig 83, except Danish G, Swedish 
C, which do not give the hero's name, have 
Hilde-brand ; so also 82 N, O, P, V, and Kris- 
tensen, I, No 37. The name of the woman 
is nearly constant both in 82 and 83. 

The paradise promised Guldborg in all the 
old versions of 82* disappears from the re- 

* Though the paradise has not been transmitted in any 
known copy of ' Earl Brand,' it appears very distinctly in 
the opening stanza of ' Leesome Brand ' A. This last has 
several stanzas towards the close (33-35) which seem to be- 



cited copies, except K, M. It certainly did 
not originally belong to ' Ribold and Guld 
borg,' or to another Danish ballad in which it 
occurs (' Den trofaste Jomfru,' Grundtvig, 249 
A), but rather to ballads like ' Kvindemorde- 
ren,' Grundtvig, 183 A, or ' Liti Kersti,' Land- 
stad, 44, where a supernatural being, a demon 
or a hillman, seeks to entice away a mor 
tal maid. See No 4, p. 27. In 82 L, N, U, 
V, Y, JE, 0, and Kristensen's copies, the lov 
ers are not encountered by anybody who re 
ports their flight. Most of the later versions, 
K, L, M, N, P, U, V, Y, uE, 0, and Kris 
tensen's three, make them halt in a wood, 
where Ribold goes to sleep in Guldborg's lap, 
and is roused by her when she perceives that 
they are pursued. So Norwegian B, Swed 
ish A, B, C, and ' Hildebrand and Hilde ' B. 
M, Q, R, S, T, Z, have not a specific prohi 
bition of dead-naming, but even these enjoin 
silence. 83 C is the only ballad in which 
there is a fight and no prohibition of either 
kind, but it is clear from the course of the 
story that the stanza containing the usual in 
junction has simply dropped out. P is distin 
guished from all other forms of the story by 
the heroine's killing herself before her dying 
lover reaches his house. 

The four first copies of ' Hildebrand and 
Hilde,' as has been seen, have the story of 
Ribold and Guldborg with some slight dif 
ferences and some abridgment. There is no 
elopement in B: the lovers are surprised in 
the princess' bower. When Hilde has fin 
ished her tale, in A, the queen declares that 
Hildebrand was her son. In B she interrupts 
the narrative by announcing her discovery 
that Hildebrand was her brother. C and D 
have nothing of the sort. There is no fight 
in E-H. B has taken up the commonplace 
of the bower on the strand which was forced 
by nine men.f Hildebrand is again the son of 
the queen, and, coming in just as Hilde has 
expired, exclaims that he will have no other 
love, sets his sword against a stone, and runs 

long to ' Earl Brand,' and perhaps derived these, the " unco 
land," and even its name, by the familiar process of inter 
mixture of traditions. 

t See No 5, pp. 64, 65, 66. 



7. EARL BRAND 



91 



upon it. H has the same catastrophe. F 
represents the father as simply showing great 
indignation and cruelty on finding out that 
one of the guardian knights had beguiled his 
daughter, and presently selling her for a new 
church bell. The knight turns out here again 
to be the queen's son ; the queen says he 
shall betroth Hille, and Hille faints for joy. 
G agrees with B as to the surprise in the 
bower. The knight's head is hewn off on the 
spot. The queen gives Hilde her youngest 
son for a husband, and Hilde avows that she 
is consoled. I agrees with E so far as it goes, 
but is a short fragment. 

There are three Icelandic versions of this 
ballad, ' Kibbalds kvaeSi,' \ slenzk FornkvaeSi, 
No 16, all of the seventeenth century. They 
all come reasonably close to the Danish as to 
the story, and particularly A. Ribbald, with 
no prologue, invites GuHbrun " to ride." He 
sets her on a white horse ; of all women she 
rode best. They have gone but a little way, 
when they see a pilgrim riding towards them, 
who hails Ribbald with, Welcome, with thy 
^stolen maid ! Ribbald pretends that the maid 
is his sister, but the pilgrim knows very well 
it is Gullbrun. She offers her cloak to him 
not to tell her father, but the pilgrim goes 
straight to the king, and says, Thy daugh 
ter is off ! The king orders his harp to be 
brought, for no purpose but to dash it on the 
floor once and twice, and break out the strings. 
He then orders his horse. Gullbrun sees her 
father come riding under a hill-side, then her 
eleven brothers, then seven brothers-in-law. 
She begs Ribbald to spare her youngest broth 
er's life, that he may carry the news to her 
mother. He replies, I will tie my horse by 
the reins ; you take up your sewing 1 then 
three times forbids her to name him during 
the fight. He slew her father first, next the 
eleven brothers, then the other seven, all which 
filled her with compunction, and she cried 
out, Ribbald, still thy brand ! On the in 
stant Ribbald received many wounds. He 
wiped his bloody sword, saying, This is what 
you deserve, Gullbrun, but love is your shield ; 
then set her on her horse, and rode to his 
brother's door. He called out, Here is a wife 



for you! But Gullbrun said, Never will I be 
given to two brothers. Soon after Ribbald 
gave up the ghost. There was more mourn 
ing than mirth ; three bodies went to the 
grave in one coffin, Ribbald, his lady, and his 
mother, who died of grief. 

B and C have lost something at the begin 
ning, C starting at the same point as our 
' Douglas Tragedy.' The king pursues Rib- 
bald by water. Gullbrun (B) stands in a 
tower and sees him land. Ribbald gives Gull 
brun to his brother, as in A : she lives in sor 
row, and dies a maid. 

Norwegian. (' Ribold and Guldborg.') A, 
' Rikeball og stolt GtiSbjorg,' Landstad, 33 ; 

B, ' Veneros og stolt Olleber,' Landstad, 34 ; 

C, D, B, F, in part described and cited, with 
six other copies, Grundtvig, in, p. 853 f. The 
last half of Landstad No 23, stanzas 17-34, and 
stanzas 18-25 of Landstad 28 B, also belong 
here. A agrees with the older Danish ver 
sions, even to the extent of the paradise. B 
has been greatly injured. Upon the lady's 
warning Veneros of the approach of her fa 
ther, he puts her up in an oak-tree for safety. 
He warns her not to call him by name, and 
she says she will rather die first ; but her firm 
ness is not put to the test in this ballad, some 
verses having dropped out just at this point. 
Veneros is advised to surrender, but dispatches 
his assailants by eighteen thousands (like Lil 
le br6r, in Landstad, 23), and by way of con 
clusion hews the false Pal greive, who had re 
ported his elopement to Olleber's father, into 
as many pieces. He then takes Olleber on 
his horse, they ride away and are married. 
Such peculiarities in the other copies as are 
important to us will be noticed further on. 

(' Hildebrand and Hilde.') A, one of two 
Norwegian copies communicated by Professor 
Bugge to Grundtvig, ill, 857 f, agrees well 
with Danish E, but has the happy conclusion 
of Danish F, G, I. The heroine is sold for 
nine bells. B, the other, omits the bower- 
breaking of A and Danish E, and ends with 
marriage. 

The Swedish forms of ' Ribold and Guld 
borg ' are : A, ' Hillebrand,' Afzelius, No 2 ; 
B, * Herr Redebold,' and C, * Kung Vallemo,' 



92 



7. EARL BRAND 



Afzelius, No 80; new ed., No 2, i, 2, 3; D, 
' Ribbolt,' Arwidsson, No 78 ; E, ' Herr Rede- 
bold ' F, 'Herting Liljebrand,' and G, 'Herr 
Balder,' in Cavallius and Stephens' manu 
script collection ; H, ' Kung Walmon,' E. 
Wigstrb'm's Folkdiktning, No 15, p. 33. A, 

B, C, H, are not markedly different from the 
ordinary Danish ballad, and this is true also, 
says Grundtvig, of the unprinted versions, E, 
F, G. D and G are of the seventeenth cent 
ury, the others from recent tradition. Ribold 
is pictured in D as a bold prince, equally versed 
in runes and arts as in manly exercises. He 
visits Giotha by night : they slumber sweet, 
but wake in blood. She binds up his wounds 
with rich kerchiefs. He rides home to his fa 
ther's, and sits down on a bench. The king 
bids his servants see what is the matter, and 
adds, Be he sick or be he hurt, he got it at 
Giotha-Lilla's. They report the prince stabbed 
with sharp pikes within, and bound with silk 
kerchiefs without. Ribold bids them bury 
him in the mould, and not blame Giotha-Lilla ; 
" for my horse was fleet, and I was late, and 
he hurtled me 'gainst an apple-tree " (so 
Hillebrand in A). E represents the heroine 
as surviving her lover, and united to a young 
king, but always grieving for Redebold. 

' Hildebrand and Hilde ' exists in Swedish in 
three versions : A, a broadside of the last part 
of the seventeenth century, now printed in the 
new edition of Afzelius, p. 142 ff of the notes 
(the last nine stanzas before, in Danske Viser, 
m, 438 f) ; B, Afzelius, No 32, new ed. No 26, 

C, Arwidsson, No 107, both taken down in this 
century. In A and B Hillebrand, son of the 
king of England, carries off Hilla ; they halt 
in a grove ; she wakes him from his sleep 
when she hears her father and seven brothers 
coming; he enjoins her not to call him by 
name, which still she does upon her father's 
being slain [or when only her youngest brother 
is left], and Hillebrand thereupon receives 
mortal wounds. He wipes his sword, saying, 
This is what you would deserve, were you 
not Hilla. The youngest brother ties Hilla 
to his horse, drags her home, and confines her 
in a dark house, which swarms with snakes 
and dragons (A only). They sell her for a 



new church bell, and her mother's heart breaks 
at the first sound. Hilla falls dead at the 
queen's knee. C has lost the dead-naming, 
and ends with the queen's promising to be 
Hilla's best friend. 

A detailed comparison of the English bal 
lads, and especially of ' Earl Brand,' with the 
Scandinavian (such as Grundtvig has made, 
III, 855 f) shows an unusual and very inter 
esting agreement. The name Earl Brand, to 
begin with, is in all probability a modification 
of the Hildebrand found in Danish 82 N, O, 
P, V, C*, in all versions of Danish 83, and in 
the corresponding Swedish A. Ell, too, in 
Percy's fragment, which may have been Elle 
earlier, points to Hilde, or something like it, 
and Erl-inton might easily be corrupted from 
such a form as the Alibrand of Norwegian B 
(Grundtvig, in, 858). Hildebrand is the son 
of the king of England in Danish 83 A-E, and 
the lady in ' Earl Brand ' is the same king's 
daughter, an interchange such as is constantly 
occurring in tradition. Stanza 2 can hardly be 
the rightful property of ' Earl Brand.' Some 
thing very similar is met with in ' Leesome 
Brand,' and is not much in place there. For 
4 old Carl Hood,' of whom more presently, 
Danish 82 X and Norwegian A, C have an 
old man, Danish C a crafty man, T a false 
younker, and Norwegian B and three others 
" false Pal greive." The lady's urging Earl 
Brand to slay the old carl, and the answer, 
that it would be sair to kill a gray-haired man, 
sts 8, 9, are almost literally repeated in Nor 
wegian A, Landstad, No 33. The knight does 
slay the old man in Danish X and Norwegian 
C, and slays the court page in Danish Z, and 
false Pal greive in Norwegian B, in this last 
after the battle. The question, " Where have 
ye stolen this lady away ? " in st. 11, occurs 
in Danish 82 A, D, E, K, P, R, S, T, Z, in 
Norwegian B and Icelandic B, and something 
very similar in many other copies. The re 
ply, " She is my sick sister, whom I have 
brought from Winchester " [nunnery] , is found 
almost literally in Danish C, X, Z : " It is my 
sick sister; I took her yesterday from the 
cloister." [Danish E, it is my youngest sister 
from the cloister ; she is sick : Danish A, 



7. EARL BRAND 



93 



youngest sister from cloister : Danish R and 
Norwegian B, sister from cloister : Danish S, 
T, sister's daughter from cloister : Norwegian 
F, sister from Holstein : Danish P, Icelandic 

A, Norwegian A, sister.] The old man, crafty 
man, rich earl, in the Scandinavian ballads, 
commonly answers that he knows Guldborg 
very well ; but in Danish D, where Ribold says 
it is a court page he has hired, we have some 
thing like sts 14, 15 : " Why has he such silk- 
braided hair ? " On finding themselves dis 
covered, the lovers, in the Scandinavian bal 
lad, attempt to purchase silence with a bribe : 
Danish A-I, M, Icelandic and Norwegian A, 

B. This is not expressly done in 'Earl Brand,' 
but the same seems to be meant in st. 10 by 
" I '11 gie him a pound." St. 17 is fairly par 
alleled by Danish S, 18, 19 : " Where is Guld 
borg, thy daughter ? Walking in the garden, 
gathering roses ; " and st. 18, by Norwegian 
B, 15 : " You may search without and search 
within, and see whether Olleberyou can find." 
The announcement in st. 19 is made in al 
most all the Scandinavian ballads, in words 
equivalent to " Ribold is off with thy daugh 
ter," and then follows the arming for the pur 
suit. The lady looks over her shoulder and 
sees her father coming, as in st. 21, in Danish 
82 A, F, H, I, Q, R, T, X, Z, and Norwe 
gian A. 

The scene of the fight is better preserved 
in the Scottish ballads than in ' Earl Brand,' 
though none of these have the cardinal inci 
dent of the death-naming. All the Scottish 
versions, B-F, and also ' Erlinton,' A, B, make 
the lady hold the knight's horse : so Danish 
82 B, C, B, I, JB, D*, Icelandic C, Norwegian 
and Swedish A, and Danish 83 D. Of the 
knight's injunction, " Name me not to death, 
though thou see me bleed," which, as has been 
noted, is kept by nearly every Danish ballad 
(and by the Icelandic, the Norwegian, and by 
Swedish Ribold and Guldborg,' A, B, C, H, 
Swedish ' Hildebrand and Hilde,' A, B), there 
is left in English only this faint trace, in 
4 Erlinton,' A, B : " See ye dinna change your 
cheer until ye see my body bleed." It is the 
wish to save the life of her youngest brother 
that causes the lady to call her lover by name 



in the larger number of Scandinavian ballads, 
and she adds, " that he may carry the tidings 
to my mother," in Danish 82 A, B, C, E, F, 
G, H, M, X, 83 B, C, D. Grief for her fa 
ther's death is the impulse in Danish 82 I, N, 
O, Q, R, S, Y, Z, ^3, 0, A*, C*, D*, E*, Swed 
ish A, B, C, H. English A says nothing of 
father or brother ; but in B, C, D, E, it is 
the father's death that causes the exclama 
tion. All the assailants are slain in ' Erlinton ' 
A, B, except an aged knight [the auldest 
man], and he is spared to carry the tidings 
home. ' Erlinton ' C, however, agrees with the 
oldest Danish copies in making the youngest 
brother the motive of the lady's intervention. 
It is the fifteenth, and last, of the assailants 
that gives Earl Brand his death-wound ; in 
Danish H, the youngest brother, whom he has 
been entreated to spare ; and so, apparently, 
in Danish C and Norwegian A. 

The question, " Will you go with me or re 
turn to your mother ? " which we find in Eng 
lish B, C, D, is met with also in many Dan 
ish versions, 82 B, H, K, L, M, N, P, U, Z, 
1E>, 0, C*, and Swedish A, B, C. The dying 
man asks to have his bed made in English B, 
C, as in Danish 82 B, C, K, L, N, U, X, JE3, 
0, C*, D*, Norwegian A, Swedish A, B, C, H, 
and desires that the lady may marry his brother 
in English A, as in nearly all the Danish ver 
sions, Icelandic A, B, C, Norwegian C, D, E, 
Swedish C. He declares her a maiden true in 
1 Earl Brand,' A c 33, and affirms the same 
with more particularity in Danish 82 B, C, 
E, F, G, M, 0, Icelandic B, C, Norwegian 
A, C, E, Swedish C. The growth of the rose 
and brier [bush and brier] from the lovers' 
grave in English B, C, is not met with in any 
version of ' Ribold and Guldborg ' proper, but 
4 Den farlige Jomfru ' G, Grundtvig, 184, the 
last half of which, as already remarked, is a 
fragment of a Ribold ballad, has a linden in 
place of the rose and brier. 

No complete ballad of the Ribold class is 
known to have survived in German, but a 
few verses have been interpolated by tradition 
in the earliest copy of the Ulinger ballad 
(vv. 47-56), which may almost with certainty 
be assigned to one of the other description. 



94 



7. EARL BRAND 



They disturb the narrative where they are, 
and a ready occasion for their slipping in was 
afforded by the scene being exactly the same 
in both ballads : a knight and a lady, with 
whom he had eloped, resting in a wood.* See 
No 4, p. 32 of this volume. 

We find in a pretty Neapolitan-Albanian 
ballad, which, with others, is regarded by the 
editors as a fragment of a connected poem, 
several of the features of these northern ones. 
A youth asks a damsel in marriage, but is not 
favored by her mother, father, or brother. 
He wins over first the mother and then the 
father by handsome presents, but his gifts, 
though accepted, do not conciliate the brother. 
He carries off the lady on horseback, and is 
attacked by the brother, four uncles, and seven 
cousins. He is killed and falls from his horse ; 
with him the lady falls dead also, and both are 
covered up with stones. In the spring the 
youth comes up a cypress, the damsel comes 
up a vine, and encloses the cypress in her arms. 
(Rapsodie d'un poema albanese raccolte nelle 
colonie del Napoletano, de Rada and de' Co- 
ronei, Florence, 1866, lib. ii., canto viii.) 

These ballads would seem to belong among 
the numerous ramifications of the Hilde saga. 
Of these, the second lay of Helgi Hunding- 
slayer, in Ssemund's Edda, and ' Waltharius,' 
the beautiful poem of Ekkehard, are most like 
the ballads.f Leaving ' Waltharius ' till we 
come to 'Erlinton,' we may notice that Sigrun, 
in the Helgi lay, though promised by her father 

* Compare vv 49-56, " Wilt thou ride to them, or wilt 
thou fight with them, or wilt thou stand by thy love, sword 
in hand ? " "I will not ride to them, I will not fight with 
them [i. e., begin the fight], but I will stand by my Jove, 
sword in hand," with Norwegian A, 29, 30 : " Shall we 
ride to the wood, or shall we bide like men ? " " We will 
not ride to the wood, but we will bide like men." And also 
with Danish Si, sts 14, 15. 

t The chief branches, besides the Helgi lay and Walter, 
are the saga in Snorri's Edda, Skaldskaparmal, 50 ; that in 
Saxo Grammaticus, Stephanius, ed. 1644, pp. 88-90; Sorla 
f>attr, in Fornaldar Sogur, i, 39 Iff; the Shetland ballad 
printed in Low's Tour through the Islands of Orkney and 
Shetland, 108 ff, and in Barry's History of the Orkney 
Islands, 2d ed., 489 ff, and paraphrased in Hibbert's Descrip 
tion of the Shetland Islands, 561 ff ; the Thidrik saga, 233- 
239, Unger ; Gudrun, v-viii. The names of father, daughter, 
and lover in these are : (1 ) Hogni, , Hogni, Hogin-, Hogni, 
, [Artus], Hagen ; (2) [Sigrun], Hilde-gunde, Hildr, Hilda, 
Hildr, Hildina, Hildr, Hilde; (3) Helgi, [Walter], Hedin, 
Hithin-, Hedin, , [Herburt], Hetel. Hagan, in 'Waltha- 



to another man, Hodbrodd, son of Granmar, 
preferred Helgi. She sought him out, and told 
him frankly her predicament : she feared, she 
said, the wrath of her friends, for breaking her 
father's promise. Helgi accepted her affec 
tion, and bade her not care for the displeasure 
of her relatives. A great battle ensued be 
tween Helgi and the sons of Granmar, who were 
aided by Sigrun's father and brothers. All her 
kinsmen were slain except one brother, Dag. 
He bound himself to peace with Helgi, but, 
notwithstanding, made sacrifices to Odin to 
obtain the loan of his spear, and with it slew 
Helgi. We have, therefore, in so much of 
the lay of Helgi Hundingslayer, the ground 
work of the story of the ballads : a woman, 
who, as in many of the Ribold ballads, has 
been betrothed to a man she does not care for, 
gives herself to another ; there is a fight, in 
which a great number of her kinsmen fall; 
one brother survives, who is the death of the 
man she loves. The lay of Helgi Hiorvard's 
son, whose story has much in common with 
that of his namesake, affords two resemblances 
of detail not found in the lay of the Hun 
dingslayer. Helgi Hiorvard's son, while his 
life-blood is ebbing, expresses himself in al 
most the words of the dying Ribold : " The 
sword has come very near my heart." He 
then, like Ribold and Earl Brand, declares his 
wish that his wife should marry his brother, 
and she, like Guldborg, declines a second 
union.J 

rius,' may be said to take the place of the father, who is want 
ing; and this is in a measure true also of Hedin, Helgi's half- 
brother, in the lay of Helgi Hiorvard's son. See the excellent 
discussion of the saga by Klee, Zur Hildesage, Leipzig, 
1873. 

The Swedish ballad, ' Herr Hjelmer,' A, Arwidsson, i, 155, 
No 21 ; B, C, Afzelius, n, 178, 226, No 74 (Helmer) ; D, 
E. Wigstrom, Folkdiktning, p. 25, No 10 (Hjelman), has 
several points of agreement with Ribold and the Hilde saga. 
The hero kills six of seven brothers [also the father, in A], 
spares the seventh on oath of fidelity, and is treacherously 
slain by him. The youngest brother carries her lover's head 
to his sister, is invited to drink by her (in three of the four 
copies), and slain while so engaged ; reminding us of Hil 
dina in the Shetland ballad. Danish ' Herr Hjaelm,' Grundt- 
vig, Danske Folkeminder, 1861, p. 81, agrees with the Swed 
ish, except that there are only three brothers. 

} HelgakviSa HjorvarSssonar, ed. Grundtvig, 42-44, Ribold 
og Guldborg, A 33, 34, B 46, D 46, 47, E 42, Q 24. The 
observation is Professor Bugge's. 



7. EARL BRAND 



95 



There is also a passage in the earlier his 
tory of Helgi Hundingslayer of which traces 
appear to be preserved in ballads, and be 
fore all in the English ballad 'Earl Brand,' 
A. Hunding and Helgi's family were at feud. 
Helgi introduced himself into IJunding's court 
as a spy, and when he was retiring sent word 
to Hunding's son that he had been there dis 
guised as a son of Hagal, Helgi's foster-father. 
Hunding sent men to take him, and Helgi, to 
escape them, was forced to assume woman's 
clothes and grind at the mill. While Hun- 
ding's men are making search, a mysterious 
blind man, surnamed the bale- wise, or evil- 
witted (Blindr inn bolvisi), calls out, Sharp 
are the eyes of Hagal's maid ; it is no churl's 
blood that stands a.t the mill ; the stones are 
riving, the meal-trough is springing ; a hard 
lot has befallen a war-king when a chieftain 
must grind strange barley ; fitter for that hand 
is the sword-hilt than the mill-handle. Ha 
gal pretends that the fierce-eyed maid is a 
virago whom Helgi had taken captive, and in 
the end Helgi escapes. This malicious person 
age reappears in the HrSmund saga as " Blind 
the Bad " and " the Carl Blind, surnamed Ba- 
vfs," and is found elsewhere. His likeness to 
"old Carl Hood," who "comes for ill, but 
never for good," and who gives information 
of Earl Brand's flight with the king's daugh 
ter, does not require to be insisted on. Both 
are identical, we can scarcely doubt, with the 
blind [one-eyed] old man of many tales, who^ 
goes about in various disguises, sometimes as 
beggar, with his hood or hat slouched over his 
face, that is Odin, the SiShottr or Deep- 
hood of Saemund, who in the saga of Half and 
his champions is called simple Hood, as here, 
and expressly said to be Odin.* Odin, though 

* Hottr, er 6o"inn var reyndar, Hood, who was Odin really, 
Fornaldar Sogur, n, p. 25. Klee observes, p. 10 f, that 
Hogni [Hagen] is the evil genius of the Hildesage. Some 
times he is the heroine's father ; in ' Waltharius,' strangely 
enough, the hero's old friend (and even there a one-eyed 
man.) Klee treats the introduction of a rival lover (as in the 
Shetland ballad and Gudrun) as a departure from the older 
story. But we have the rival in Helgi Hundingslayer. The 
proper marplot in this lay is Blind the Ill-witted (Odin), 
whose part is sustained in ' Earl Brand' by the malicious 
Hood, in several Norwegian ballads by a very enigmatical 
" false Pal greive," in two other Norwegian ballads and one 



not a thoroughly malignant divinity, had his 
dark side, and one of his titles in Ssemund's 
Edda is Bolverkr, maleficus. He first caused 
war by casting his spear among men, and Dag, 
after he has killed Helgi, says Odin was the 
author of all the mischief, for he brought 
strife among kinsmen. f 

The disastrous effects of "naming" in a 
great emergency appear in other northern tra 
ditions, though not so frequently as one would 
expect. A diverting Swedish saga, which has 
been much quoted, relates how St. Olof bar 
gained with a troll for the building of a huge 
church, the pay to be the sun and moon, or 
St. Olof himself. The holy man was equally 
amazed and embarrassed at seeing the build 
ing run up by the troll with great rapidity, 
but during a ramble among the hills had the 
good luck to discover that the troll's name was 
Wind and Weather, after which all was easy. 
For while the .troll was on the roof of the 
church, Olof called out to him, 

' Wind and Weather, hi ! 
You 've set the spire awry ; ' 

and the troll, thus called by his name, lost his 
strength, fell off, and was dashed into a hun- 

O ' 

dred pieces, all flint stones. (Iduna, Part 3, 
p. 60 f, note. Other forms of the same story 
in Afzelius, Sago-Hafder, III, 100 f; Faye, 
Norske Folke-Sagn, p. 14, 2d ed. ; Hofberg, 
Nerikes Gamla Minnen, p. 234.) 

It is a Norwegian belief that when a nix 
assumes the human shape in order to carry 
some one off, it will be his death if the se 
lected victim recognizes him and names him, 
and -in this way a woman escaped in a ballad. 
She called out, So you are the Nix, that pes 
tilent beast, and the nix " disappeared in red 

Danish by an old man, and, what is most remarkable, in the 
Shetland ballad by the rejected lover of Hildina (the Sir 
Nilaus of Danish D, Hertug Nilssdn of some Norwegian 
copies), who bears the name Hiluge, interpreted with great 
probability by Conrad Hofmann (Munich Sitzungsberichte, 
1867, ii, 209, note), Illhugi, der Bossinnige, evil-minded 
(Icelandic illhugaSr, illuSigr.) 

t Inimicitias Othinus serit, Saxo, p. 142, ed. 1644. See 
Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, i, 120, note 2, in, 56, new ed., 
for Odin's bad points, though some of Grimm's interpreta 
tions might now be objected to. 



96 



7. EARL BRAND 



blood." (Faye, as above, p. 49, note.) A nix 
is baffled in the same way in a Feeroe and an 
Icelandic ballad cited by Grundtvig, II, 57. 

The marvellous horse Blak agrees to carry 
Waldemar [Hildebrand] over a great piece of 
water for the rescue of his daughter [sister] , 
stipulating, however, that his name shall not 
be uttered. The rider forgets himself in a 
panic, calls to the horse by his name, and is 
thrown off into the water. The horse, whose 
powers had been supernatural, and who had 
been running over the water as if it were land, 
has now only ordinary strength, and is forced 
to swim. He brings the lady back on the 
same terms, which she keeps, but when he 
reaches the land he is bleeding at every hair, 
and falls dead. (Landstad, 58; Grundtvig, 62 ; 
Afzelius, 59, preface ; Kristensen, I, No 66.) 

Klaufi, a berserker, while under the opera 
tion of his peculiar fury, loses his strength, 
and can no longer wield the weapon he was 
fighting with, upon Griss's crying out, " Klaufi, 
Klaufi, be not so mad ! " (Svarfdaela Saga, p. 
147, and again p. 156 f.) So the blood-thirst 
of the avenger's sword in the magnificent 
Danish ballad ' Hasvnersvasrdet ' is restrained 
by naming. (Grundtvig, No 25, st. 35.) Again, 
men engaged in hamfarir, that is in roving 
about in the shape of beasts, their proper 
bodies remaining lifeless the while, must not 
be called by name, for this might compel them 
to return at once to their own shape, or pos 
sibly prevent their ever doing so. (Kristni 
Saga, ed. 1773, p. 149. R. T. King, in Notes 
and Queries, 2d Ser., n, 506.) Grundtvig re 
marks that this belief is akin to what is re 
lated in Fafnismal (prose interpolation after 
st. 1), that Sigurd concealed his name by rea 
son of a belief in old times that a dying man's 
word had great power, if he cursed his foe 
by name. (D. g. F., n, 340.) 

The beautiful fancy of plants springing from 
the graves of star-crossed lovers, and signify 
ing by the intertwining of stems or leaves, 
or in other analogous ways, that an earthly 
passion has not been extinguished by death, 
presents itself, as is well known, very fre 
quently in popular poetry. Though the graves 
be made far apart, even on opposite sides of 



the church, or one to the north and one to 
the south outside of the church, or one with 
out kirk wall and one in the choir, however 
separated, the vines or trees seek one another 
out, and mingle their branches or their fo 
liage : 

" Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, 
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires ! " 

The principal ballads which exhibit this 
conception in one or another form are the fol 
lowing : 

In English, ' The Douglas Tragedy,' ' Fair 
Margaret and Sweet William,' Lord Thomas 
and Fair Annet,' ' Fair Janet,' ' Prince Robert,' 
' Lord Lovel.' The plants in all these are either 
a brier and a rose, or a brier and a birk. 

Swedish. Arwidsson, No 73 : the graves 
are made east and west of the church, a lin 
den grows from each, the trees meet over the 
church roof. So E. Wigstrom, Folkdiktning, 
No 20, p. 42. Arwidsson 74 A : Rosea Lilla 
and the duke are buried south and north in 
the church-yard. A rose from her grave cov 
ers his with its leaves. The duke is then laid 
in her grave, from which a linden springs. 
74 B : the rose as before, and a linden from the 
duke's grave. Arwidsson, 72, 68, Afzelius, 
No 19 (new ed., 18), 23 (new ed., 21, i, 2) : 
a common grave, with a linden, two trees, or 
lilies, and, in the last, roses also growing from 
the mouths of both lovers. In one version 
the linden leaves bear the inscription, My 
father shall answer to me at doomsday. 

Norwegian. Landstad, 65 : the lovers are 
laid north and south of the church ; lilies grow 
over the church roof. 

Danish. Danske Viser, 124, 153, two roses. 
Kristensen, n, No 60, two lilies, interlocking 
over church wall and ridge. 61 B, C (= Af 
zelius, 19), separate graves ; B, a lily from 
each grave ; C, a flower from each breast. 

O 77 

Grundtvig, 184 G, 271 N, a linden ; Danske 
Folkeminder, 1861, p. 81, two lilies. 

German. 'Der Ritter u. die Maid,' (1) 
Nicolai, I, No 2, = Kretzschmer, I, 54 ; (2) 
Uhland, 97 A, Simrock, 12 ; (3) Erk's Lied- 
erhort, 26 ; Hoffmann u. Richter, 4 : the lov 
ers are buried together, and there grow from 



7. EARL BRAND 



97 



their grave (1) three pinks, (2) three lilies, 
(3) two lilies. Wunderhorn, 1857, 1, 53, Mit- 
tler, No 91 : the maid is buried in the church 
yard, the knight under the gallows. A lily 
grows from his grave, with an inscription, Beid 
waren beisammen im Himmel. Ditfurth, n, 
7 : two lilies spring from her (or their) grave, 
bearing a similar inscription. In Haupt and 
Schmaler, Volkslieder der Wenden, I, 136, 
from the German, rue is planted on the maid's 
grave, in accordance with the last words of 
the knight, and the same inscription appears 
on one of the leaves. 

4 Graf Friedrich,' Uhland, 122, Wunder 
horn, n, 293, Mittler, 103, Erk's Lieder- 
hort, 15 a : Graf Friedrich's bride is by ac 
cident mortally wounded while he is bring 
ing her home. Her father kills him, and he 
is dragged at a horse's heels. Three lilies 
spring from his grave, with an inscription, 
Er war bei Gott geblieben. He is then 
buried with his bride, the transfer being at 
tended with other miraculous manifestations. 
Other versions, Hoffmann u. Richter, 19, = 
Mittler, 112, = Liederhort, 15 ; Mittler, 113, 
114 ; also Meinert, 23, = Mittler, 109, etc. : 
the lilies in most of these growing from the 
bride's grave, with words attesting the knight's 
innocence. 

Lilies with inscriptions also in Wunder 
horn, n, p. 251, = Mittler, 128, ' Alle bei 
Gott die sich lieben ; ' Mittler, 130 ; Ditfurth, 
n, 4, 9 ; Scherer, Jungbrunnen, 9 A, 25 ; Po- 
gatschnigg und Hermann, 1458. Three lilies 
from a maid's grave : * Die schwazbraune 
Hexe ' (' Es blies ein Jager '), Nicolai, I, 8 ; 
Wunderhorn, I, 36 ; Grater's Bragur, I, 280 ; 
Uhland, 103; Liederhort, 9; Simrock, 93; 
Fiedler, p. 158 ; Ditfurth, u, 33, 34 ; Reiffer- 
scheid, 15, etc. Three roses, Hoffmann u. 
Richter, 171, p. 194; three pinks, ib., 172; 
rose, pink, lily, Alemannia, iv, 35. Three 
lilies from a man's grave : ' Der Todwunde : ' 
Schade, Bergreien, 10, = Uhland, 93 A, = 
Liederhort, 34 g, = Mittler, 47, etc. 

Portuguese. ' Conde Nillo,' * Conde Nino,' 
Almeida-Garrett, ni, No 18, at p. 21 ; Braga, 
Rom. Geral., No 14, at p. 38, = Hartung, i, 
217 : the infanta is buried at the foot of the 

13 



high altar, Conde Nillo near the church door ; 
a cypress and an orange [pines]. Almeida- 
Garrett, ni, No 20, at p. 38 : a sombre clump 
of pines over the knight, reeds from the prin 
cess's grave, which, though cut down, shoot 
again, and are heard sighing in the night. 
Braga, Archip. Asor., ' Filha Maria,' ' Dom 
Doardos,' ' A Ermida no Mar,' Nos 32, 33, 
34, Hartung, I, 220-224; Estacio da Veiga, 
' Dom Diniz,' p. 64-67, = Hartung, I, 217, 2 : 
tree and pines, olive and pines, clove-tree and 
pine, roses and canes : in all, new miracles fol 
low the cutting down. So also Almeida-Gar 
rett, No 6, i, 167. 

Roumanian. Alecsandri, 7, Stanley, p. 16, 
' Ring and Handkerchief,' translated by Stan 
ley, p. 193, Murray, p. 56 : a fir and a vine, 
which meet over the church. 

French. Beaurepaire, Poe'sie pop. en Nor- 
mandie, p. 51 : a thorn and an olive are planted 
over the graves ; the thorn embraces the olive. 

Romaic. Passow, Nos 414, 415, 456, 469 ; 
Zambelios, p. 754, No 41 ; Tommaseo, Canti 
Popolari, ni, 135 ; Chasiotis, p. 103, No 22 : 
a cypress from ^the man's grave, a reed from 
the maid's (or from a common tomb) ; re 
versed in Passow, Nos 418, 470, and Schmidt, 
Griechische Marchen, u. s. w., No 59, p. 203. 
Sakellarios, p. 25, No 9, cypress and apple- 
tree ; p. 38, No 13, cypress and lemon-tree. 
(F. Liebrecht, Zur Volkskunde, pp. 166, 168, 
182, 183.) 

Servian. Talvj, V. L. der Serben, n, p. 
85 : a fir and a rose ; the rose twines round 
the fir. 

Wend. Haupt and Schmaler, V. L. der 
Wenden, n, No 48: a maid, who kills her 
self on account of the death of her lover, or 
ders two grape vines to be planted over their 
graves : the vines intertwine. 

Breton. Luzel, I, p. 423 : a fleur-de-lis 
springs from a common tomb, and is always 
in flower, however often it is plucked. 

Italo-Albanian. De Rada, Rapsodie d'un 
poema albanese, etc., p. 47 : the youth comes 
up (nacque) a cypress ; the maid a white vine, 
which clings around the tree. Camarda, Ap- 
pendice al saggio di grammatologia comparata, 
' Angelina,' p. 112, the same ; but inappropri- 



7. EARL BRAND 



ately, as Liebrecht has remarked, fidelity in 
love being wanting in this case. 

Magyar. The lovers are buried before and 
behind the altar ; white and red lilies spring 
from the tombs ; mother or father destroys 
or attempts to destroy the plants : Aigner, 
Ungarische Volksdicbtungen, 2d ed., at p. 92, 
p. 138, 131 f. Again, at p. 160, of the ' Two 
Princes ' (Hero and Leander) : here a white 
and a red tulip are planted over the graves, in 
a garden, and it is expressly said that the souls 
of the enamored pair passed into the tulips. 
In the first piece the miracle occurs twice. 
The lovers had thrown themselves into a deep 
lake; plants rose above the surface of the 
water and intertwined (p. 91) ; the bodies 
were brought up by divers and buried in the 
church, where the marvel was repeated. 

Afghan. Audam and Doorkhaunee, a poem 
" read, repeated, and sung, through all parts 
of the country," Elphinstone's Account of the 
Kingdom of Caubul, 1815, p. 185 f : two trees 
spring from their remains, and the branches 
mingle over their tomb. First cited by Talvj, 
Versuch, p. 140. 

Kurd. Mem and Zin, a ppern of Anme'd 
Xani, died 1652-3 : two rose bushes spring 
from their graves and interlock. Bulletin de 
la classe des sciences historiques, etc., de Facad. 
impe"r. des sciences de St. Pt., tome xv, No 
11, p. 170. 

The idea of the love-animated plants has 
been thought to be derived from the romance 
of Tristan, where it also occurs ; agreeably to a 
general principle, somewhat hastily assumed, 
that when romances and popular ballads have 
anything in common, priority belongs to the 
romances. The question as to precedence in 
this instance is an open one, for the fundamen 
tal conception is not less a favorite with an 
cient Greek than with mediaeval imagination. 

Tristan and Isolde had unwittingly drunk 
of a magical potion which had the power to 
induce an indestructible and ever-increasing 
love. Tristan died of a wound received in one 

* Et de la tombe de monseigneur Tristan yssoit une ronce 
belle et verte et bien feuilleue, qui alloit par dessus la cha- 
pelle, et descendoit le bout de la ronce sur la tombe de la 
royne Yseult, et entroit dedans. La virent lea gens du pays 



of his adventures, and Isolde of a broken 
heart, because, though summoned to his aid, 
she arrived too late for him to profit by her 
medical skill. They were buried in the same 
church. According to the French prose ro 
mance, a green brier issued from Tristan's 
tomb, mounted to the roof, and, descending 
to Isolde's tomb, made its way within. King 
Marc caused the brier to be cut down three 
several times, but the morning after it was as 
flourishing as before.* 

Eilhart von Oberge, vv. 9509-21 (ed. Lich- 
tenstein, Quelleij u. Forschungen, xix, 429) 
and the German prose romance (Busching u. 
von der Hagen, Buch der Liebe, c. 60), Ul- 
rich von Thiirheim, vv. 3546-50, and Heinrich 
von Freiberg, vv. 6819-41 (in von der Hagen's 
ed. of G. v. Strassburg's Tristan) make King 
Marc plant, the first two a grape-vine over 
Tristan and a rose over Isolde, the others, 
wrongly, the rose over Tristan and the vine 
over Isolde. These plants, according to Hein 
rich, struck their roots into the hearts of the 
lovers below, while their branches embraced 
above. Icelandic ballads and an Icelandic saga 
represent Tristan's wife as forbidding the lov 
ers to be buried in the same grave, and order 
ing them to be buried on opposite sides of the 
church. Trees spring from their bodies and 
meet over the church roof. (Islenzk Forn- 
kveeSi, 23 A, B, C, D ; Saga af Tristram ok 
Isond, Brynjulfson, p. 199 ; Tristrams Saga ok 
Isondar, Kb'lbing, p. 112). The later Titurel 
imitates the conclusion of Tristan. (Der jiin- 
gere Titurel, ed. Hahn, sts 5789, 5790.) 

Among the miracles of the Virgin there are 
several which are closely akin to the prodigies 
already noted. A lily is found growing from 
the mouth of a clerk, who, though not leading 
an exemplary life, had every day said his ave 
before the image of Mary : Unger, Mariu Saga, 
No 50 ; Berceo, No 3 ; Miracles de N.-D. de 
Chartres, p. Ixiii, No 29, and p. 239 ; Ma- 
rien-legenden (Stuttgart, 1846), No xi and 
p. 269. A rose springs from the grave and 

et la eompterent au roy Marc. Le roy la fist couper par 
troys foys, et quant il I'avoit le jour fait couper, le lendemain 
estoit aussi belle cfcrnme avoit aultre fois este. Fol. cxxiv, 
as cited by Braga, Rom. Ger., p. 185. 



7. EARL BRAND 



99 



roots in the heart of a knight who had spared 
the honor of a maid because her name was 
Mary : Unger, No clvi, Hagen's Gesammt- 
abenteuer, Ixxiii. Roses inscribed Maria grow 
from the mouth, eyes, and ears of a monk: 
Unger, cxxxvii ; and a lily grows over a monk's 
grave, springing from his mouth, every leaf 
of which bears Ave Maria in golden letters : 
Unger, cxxxviii ; Gesammtabenteuer, Ixxxviii ; 
Libro de Exenplos, Romania, 1878, p. 509, 43, 
44 ; etc., 'etc. 

No one can fail to be reminded of the pur 
ple, lily-shaped flower, inscribed with the 
mournful AI A I, that rose from the blood of 
Hyacinthus, and of the other from the blood 
of Ajax, with the same letters, " his name and 
eke his plaint," haec nominis, ilia querellae. 
(Ovid, Met. x, 210 ff; xiii, 394 ff.) The 
northern lindens have their counterpart in the 
elms from the grave of Protesilaus, and in the 
trees into which Philemon and Baucis were 
transformed. See, upon the whole subject, the 
essay of Koberstein in the Weimar Jahrbuch, 
I, 73 ff, with Kohler's supplement, p. 479 ff ; 
Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, n, 689 f, and 
ni, 246. 

" The ballad of the ' Douglas Tragedy,' " 
says Scott, " is one of the few to which pop 
ular tradition has ascribed complete locality. 
The farm of Blackhouse, in Selkirkshire, is 
said to have been the scene of this melancholy 
event. There are the remains of a very an 



cient tower, adjacent to the farm-house, in a 
wild and solitary glen, upon a torrent named 
Douglas burn, which joins the Yarrow after 
passing a craggy rock called the Douglas 
craig. . . . From this ancient tower Lady 
Margaret is said to have been carried by her 
lover. Seven large stones, erected upon the 
neighboring heights of Blackhouse, are shown, 
as marking the spot where the seven brethren 
were slain ; and the Douglas burn is averred 
to have been the stream at which the lovers 
stopped to drink : so minute is tradition in 
ascertaining the scene of a tragical tale, which, 
considering the rude state of former times, 
had probably foundation in some real event." 

The localities of the Danish story were as 
certained, to her entire satisfaction, by Anne 
Krabbe in 1605-6, and are given again in Re- 
sen's Atlas Danicus, 1677. See Grundtvig, 
n, 342 f. 

B, Scott's ' Douglas Tragedy,' is translated 
by Grundtvig, Engelske og skotske Folke- 
viser, No 11 ; Afzelius, in, 86 ; Schubart, p. 
159 ; Talvj, p. 565 ; Wolff, Halle, I, 76, Haus- 
schatz, p. 201 ; Rosa Warrens, No 23 ; Ger 
hard, p. 28 ; Love Veimars, p. 292. 

' Ribold og Guldborg,' Danish B, is translated 
by Buchanan, p. 16 (loosely) ; G by Jamie- 
son, Illustrations, p. 317, and Prior, n, 400 ; 
T by Prior, n, 407 ; Swedish A, For. Quart. 
Rev., xxv, 41. ' Hildebrand og Hilde,' Dan 
ish A, B, F, H, by Prior, n, 411-20. 



a, b, from the papers of the late Robert White, Esq., of 
Newcastle-on-Tyne : c, R. Bell, Ancient Poems, Ballads, etc. 
(1857), p. 122 : d, fragmentary lines as remembered by Mrs 
Andrews, Mr White's sister, from her mother's singing. 

1 OH did ye ever hear o brave Earl Bran ? 

Ay lally, o lilly lally 

He courted the king's daughter of fair Eng 
land. 
All i the night sae early 

2 She was scarcely fifteen years of age 
Till sae boldly she came to his bedside. 



3 ' Earl Bran, fain wad I see 

A pack of hounds let loose on the lea.' 

4 ' O lady, I have no steeds but one, 
And thou shalt ride, and I will run.' 

5 ' O Earl Bran, my father has two, 
And thou shall have the best o them a.' 

6 They have ridden oer moss and moor, 
And they met neither rich nor poor. 

7 Until they met with old Carl Hood ; 
He comes for ill, but never for good. 



100 



7. EARL BRAND 



8 ' Earl Bran, if ye love me, 

Seize this old carl, and gar him die.' 

9 ' lady fair, it wad be sair, 

To slay an old man that has grey hair. 

10 ' lady fair, I '11 no do sae ; 

I '11 gie him a pound, and let him gae.' 

11 ' O where hae ye ridden this lee lang day ? 
Or where hae ye stolen this lady away ? ' 

12 ' I have not ridden this lee lang day. 
Nor yet have I stolen this lady away. 

13 ' She is my only, my sick sister, 
Whom I have brought from Winchester.' 

14 ' If she be sick, and like to dead, 
Why wears she the ribbon sae red ? 

15 ' If she be sick, and like to die, 

Then why wears she the gold on high ? ' 

16 When he came to this lady's gate, 
Sae rudely as he rapped at it. 

17 ' O where 's the lady o this ha ? ' 

' She 's out with her maids to play at the ba.' 

18 ' Ha, ha, ha ! ye are a' mistaen : 
Gae count your maidens oer again. 

19 ' I saw her far beyond the moor, 
Away to be the Earl o Bran's whore.' 

20 The father armed fifteen of his best men, 
To bring his daughter back again. 



21 Oer her left shoulder the lady looked then : 
' Earl Bran, we both are tane.' 

22 ' If they come on me ane by ane, 
Ye may stand by and see them slain. 

23 ' But if they come on me one and all, 
Ye may stand by and see me fall.' 

24 They have come on him ane by ane, 
And he has killed them all but ane. 

25 And that ane came behind his back, 
And he 's gien him a deadly whack. 

26 But for a' sae wounded as Earl Bran was, 
He has set his lady on her horse. 

27 They rode till they came to the water o Doune, 
And then he alighted to wash his wounds. 

28 ' O Earl Bran, I see your heart's blood ! ' 
' T is but the gleat o my scarlet hood.' 

29 They rode till they came to his mother's gate, 
And sae rudely as he rapped at it. 

30 ' O my son 's slain, my son 's put down, 
And a' for the sake of an English loun.' 

31 ' say not sae, my dear mother, 

But marry her to my youngest brother. 



32 ' This has not been the death o ane, 
But it 's been that of fair seventeen.' 



B 

Scott's Minstrelsy, in, 246, ed. 1803; in, 6, ed. 1833 : the 
copy principally used supplied by Mr Sharpe, the three last 
stanzas from a penny pamphlet and from tradition. 

1 < RISE up, rise up, now, Lord Douglas,' she says, 

' And put on your armour so bright ; 
Let it never be said that a daughter of thine 
Was married to a lord under night. 

2 ' Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons, 

And put on your armour so bright, 



And take better care of your youngest sister, 
For your eldest 's awa the last night.' 

3 He 's mounted her on a milk-white steed, 

And himself on a dapple grey, 
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side, 
And lightly they rode away. 

4 Lord William lookit oer his left shoulder, 

To see what he could see, 
And there he spy'd her seven brethren bold, 
Come riding over the lee. 



7. EARL BRAND 



101 



5 ' Light down, light down, Lady Margret,' he 

said, 

* And hold my steed in your hand, 
Until that against your seven brethren bold, 
And your father, I mak a stand.' 

6 She held his steed in her milk-white hand, 

And never shed one tear, 
Until that she saw her seven brethren fa, 
And her father hard fighting, who lovd her 
so dear. 

7 ' hold your hand, Lord William ! ' she said, 

' For your strokes they are wondrous sair ; 
True lovers I can get many a ane, 
But a father I can never get mair.' 

8 she 's taen out her handkerchief, 

It was o the holland sae fine, 
And aye she dighted her father's bloody 

wounds, 
That were redder than the wine. 

9 ' O chuse, chuse, Lady Margret,' he said, 

' O whether will ye gang or bide ? ' 
' I '11 gang, I '11 gang, Lord William,' she said, 
' For ye have left me no other guide.' 

10 He 's lifted her on a milk-white steed, 

And himself on a dapple grey, 
With a bugelet horn hung down by his side, 
And slowly they baith rade away. 

11 O they rade on, and on they rade, 

And a' by the light of the moon, 
Until they came to yon wan water, 
And there they lighted down. 

12 They lighted down to tak a drink 

Of the spring that ran sae clear, 
And down the stream ran his gude heart's blood, 
And sair she gan to fear. 



13 ' Hold up, hold up, Lord William,' she says, 

.' For I fear that you are slain ; ' 
' 'T is naething but the shadow of my scarlet 

cloak, 
That shines in the water sae plain.' 

14 they rade on, and on they rade, 

And a' by the light of the moon, 
Until they cam to his mother's ha door, 
And there they lighted down. 

15 ' Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says, 

' Get up, and let me in ! 
Get up, get up, lady mother,' he says, 
' For this night my fair lady I 've win. 

16 ' O mak my bed, lady mother,' he says, 

' mak it braid and deep, 
And lay Lady Margret close at my back, 
And the sounder I will sleep.' 

17 Lord William was dead lang ere midnight, 

Lady Margret lang ere day, 
And all true lovers that go thegither, 
May they have mair luck than they ! 

18 Lord William was buried in St. Mary's 

kirk,' 

Lady Margret in Mary's quire ; 
Out o the lady's grave grew a bonny red rose, 
. And out o the knight's a briar. 

19 And they twa met, and they twa plat, 

And fain they wad be near ; 
And a' the warld might ken right weel 
They were twa lovers dear. 

20 But bye and rade the Black Douglas, 

And wow but he was rough ! 
For he pulld up the bonny brier, 
And flang 't in St. Mary's Loch. 



Motherwell's MS., p. 
Notman. 





502. From the recitation of Mrs 



1 ' RISE up, rise up, my seven brave sons, 
And dress in your armour so bright ; 
Earl Douglas will hae Lady Margaret awa 
Before that it be light. 



2 ' Arise, arise, my seven brave sons, 

And dress in your armour so bright ; 
It shall never be said that a daughter of 

mine 
Shall go with an earl or a knight.' 

3 ' O will ye stand, fair Margaret,' he says, 

' And hold my milk-white steed, 



102 



7. EARL BRAND 



Till I fight your father and seven brethren, 
In yonder pleasant mead ? ' 

4 She stood and held his milk-white steed, 

She stood trembling with fear, 
Until she saw her seven brethren fall, 
And her father that loved her dear. 

5 ' Hold your hand, Earl Douglas,' she says, 

' Your strokes are wonderous sair ; 
I may get sweethearts again enew, 
But a father I '11 ne'er get mair.' 

6 She took out a handkerchief 

Was made o' the cambrick fine, 
And aye she wiped her father's bloody wounds, 
And the blood sprung up like wine. 

7 ' Will ye go, fair Margaret ? ' he said, 

' Will ye now go, or bide ? ' 
'Yes, I'll go, sweet William,' she said, 
1 For ye 've left me never a guide. 

8 ' If I were to go to my mother's house, 

A welcome guest I would be ; 
But for the bloody deed that 's done this day 
I '11 rather go with thee.' 

9 He lifted her on a milk-white steed 

And himself on a dapple gray ; 
They drew their hats out over their face, . 
And they both went weeping away. 

10 They rode, they rode, and they better rode, 

Till they came to yon water wan ; 
They lighted down to gie their horse a drink 
Out of the. running stream. 

11 ' I am afraid, Earl Douglas,' she said, 

' I am afraid ye are slain ; ' 



I think I see your bonny heart's blood 
Running down the water wan.' 

12 ' Oh no, oh no, fair Margaret,' he said, 

' Oh no, I am not slain ; 
It is but the scad of my scarlet cloak 
Runs down the water wan.' 

13 He mounted her on a milk-white steed 

And himself on a dapple gray, 
And they have reached Earl Douglas' gates 
Before the break of day. 

14 ' O rise, dear mother, and make my bed, 

And make it braid and wide, 
And lay me down to take my rest, 
And at my back my bride.' 

15 She has risen and made his bed, 

She made it braid and wide ; 
She laid him down to take his rest, 
And at his back his bride. 

16 Lord William died ere it was day, 

Lady Margaret on the morrow ; 
Lord William died through loss of blood and 

wounds, 
Fair Margaret died with sorrow. 

17 The one was buried in Mary-'s kirk, 

The other in Mary's quire ; 

The one sprung up a bonnie bush, 

And the other a bonny brier. 

18 These twa grew, and these twa threw, 

Till they came to the top, 
And when they could na farther gae, 
They coost the lovers' knot. 



Kinloch MSS, i, 327. 

1 ' SLEEPST thou or wakst thou, Lord Montgom- 

erie, 

Sleepst thou or wakst thou, I say ? 
Rise up, make a match for your eldest daugh 
ter, 
For the youngest I carry away.' 

2 ' Rise up, rise up, my seven bold sons, 

Dress yourselves in the armour sae fine ; 



For it ne'er shall be said that a churlish knight 
Eer married a daughter of mine.' 
***** 

3 ' Loup aff, loup aff, Lady Margaret,' he said, 

' And hold my steed in your hand, 

And I will go fight your seven brethren, 

And your father, where they stand.' 

4 Sometimes she gaed, sometimes she stood, 

But never dropt a tear, 
Until she saw her brethren all slain, 
And her father who lovd her so dear. 



7. EARL BRA.ND 



103 



5 ' Hold thy hand, sweet William,' she says, 

' Thy blows are wondrous sore ; 
Sweethearts I may have many a one, 
But a father I '11 never have more.' 

6 she 's taken her napkin frae her pocket, 

Was made o the holland fine, 
And ay as she dichted her father's bloody 

wounds, 
They sprang as red as the wine. 

7 'Two chooses, two chooses, Lady Margret,' 

he says, 

4 Two chooses I '11 make thee ; 
Whether to go back to your mother again, 
Or go along with me.' 

8 ' For to go home to my mother again, 

An unwelcome guest I 'd be ; 
But since my fate has ordered it so, 
I '11 go along with thee.' 



9 He has mounted her on a milk-white steed, 

Himself on the dapple gray, 
And blawn his horn baith loud and shill, 
And it sounded far on their way. 

10 They rode oer hill, they rode oer dale, 

They rode oer mountains so high, 
Until they came to that beautiful place 
Where Sir William's mother did lie. 

11 ' Rise up, rise up, lady mother,' he said, 

' Rise up, and make much o your own ; 
Rise up, rise up, lady mother,' he said, 
' For his bride 's just new come home.' 

12 Sir William he died in the middle o the night, 

Lady Margaret died on the morrow ; 
Sir William he died of pure pure love, 
Lady Margaret of grief and sorrow. 



E 



Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 180. From recitation. 

1 HE has lookit over his left shoulder, 

And through his bonnie bridle rein, 
And he spy'd her father and her seven bold 

brethren, 
Come riding down the glen. 

2 ' hold my horse, Lady Margret,' he said, 

O hold my horse by the bonnie bridle rein, 
Till I fight your father and seven bold breth 
ren, 
As they come riding down the glen.' 

3 Some time she rade, and some time she gaed, 

Till she that place did near, , 



And there she spy'd her seven bold brethren 

slain, 
And her father who loved her so dear. 

4 ' hold your hand, sweet William,' she said, 

' Your bull baits are wondrous sair ; 
Sweet-hearts I may get many a one, 
But a father I will never get mair.' 

5 She has taken a napkin from off her neck, 

That was of the cambrick so fine, 
And aye as she wiped her father's bloody 

wounds, 

The blood ran red as the wine. 
***** 

6 He set her upon the milk-white steed, 

Himself upon the brown ; 
He took a horn out of his pocket, 
And they both went weeping along. 



Percy MS., p. 57 ; ed. Hales and Furnivall, i, 133. 
1 . . ... 

Sayes ' Christ thee saue, good Child of Ell ! 
Christ saue thee and thy steede ! 



2 ' My father sayes he will [eat] noe meate, 

Nor his drinke shall doe him noe good, 
Till he haue slaine the Child of Ell, 
And haue seene his harts blood.' 

3 ' I wold I were in my sadle sett, 

And a mile out of the towne ; 



104 



7. EARL BRAND 



I did not care for your father 
And all his merry men ! 

4 ' I wold I were in my sadle sett, 

And a little space him froe ; 
I did not care for your father 
And all that long him to ! ' 

5 He leaned ore his saddle bow 

To kisse this lady good ; 
The teares thai went them two hetweene 
Were blend water and blood. 

6 He sett himselfe on one good steed, 

This lady on a palfray, 
And sett his litle home to his mouth, 
And roundlie he rode away. 

7 He had not ridden past a mile, 

A mile out of the towne, 



8 Her father was readye with her seuen brether, 

He said, ' Sett thou my daughter downe ! 
For it ill beseemes thee, thou false churles 

sonne, 
To carry her forth of this towne ! ' 

9 ' But lowd thou lyest, Sir lohn the knight, 

Thou now doest lye of me ; 
A knight me gott, and a lady me bore ; 
Soe neuer did none by thee. 

10 ' But light now downe, my lady gay, 

Light downe and hold my horsse, 
Whilest I and yowr father and your brether 
Doe play vs at this crosse. 

11 ' But light now downe, my owne trew loue, 

And meeklye hold my steede, 

Whilest your father [and your seuen brether] 
bold 



A. a, b. Obtained from recitation " many years 
ago" wrote Mr White in 1873, by James Tel- 
fer, of Laughtree Liddesdale, in some part of 
the neighboring country : the copy has the date 
1818. c is said by the editor to have been taken 
down from the recitation of an old fiddler in 
Northumberland, but when and by whom he 
does not tell us. The three are clearly more 
or less " corrected " copies of the same original, 
c having suffered most from arbitrary changes. 
Alterations for rhyme's sake, or for propriety's, 
that are written above the lines or in the mar 
gin of a 2, 5, 8, 19, are adopted in c without 
advertisement. 

Burden, b. I the brave night sae early : c. I 
the brave nights so early : d. I (or 0) the 
life o the one, the randy. 

I 1 , c. Brand, and always in C. I 2 , a. daugh 
ters, b. He 's courted. 
2 1 . c. years that tide ; that tide is written 

over of age in a. 2 2 . c. When sae. 
4 2 . c. But thou. 
5 2 . b. best o these, c. best of tho. of tho 

is written over o them a in a. 
6 2 . b, c. have met. 

7 1 . c. Till at last they met. 7 2 . c. He 's aye for 
ill and never. 



8 1 . b. O Earl Bran. c. Now Earl Brand. Now 

in the margin of a. 8 2 . b, c. Slay this. 
9 2 . b. man that wears, c. carl that wears, carl 

. . wears written over man . . has in a. 
10. b. O lady fair, I '11 no do that, 

I '11 pay him penny, let him be jobbing 

at. 
c. My own lady fair, I '11 not do that, 

I '11 pay him his fee 
II 2 . b. where have stoln this fair. c. And 

where have ye stown this fair. 
13. b. She is my sick sister, 

Which I newly brought from Winches 
ter. 
c. For she is, I trow, my sick sister, 

Whom I have been bringing fra Win 
chester. 
14 1 . c. nigh to dead. 2 . b, c. What makes her 

wear. 
15 1 . c. If she 's been. 2 . b, c. What makes her 

wear the gold sae high. 

16 1 . c. When came the carl to the lady's yett. 
2 . b. rapped at. c. He rudely, rudely rapped 
thereat. 

17 2 . b. maids playen. C. a playing, d. She 's 
out with the fair maids playing at the ball. 



7. EARL BRAND 



105 



18 1 . b. mistkane ( ?) : 2 . b, c. Ye may count. 
b 2 . young Earl. 

19. c. I met her far beyond the lea 

With the young Earl Brand, his leman 

to he : 
In a lea is written over moor, and 

With the young, etc., stands as a 

" correction." 

20. b. Her father, etc., 

And they have riden after them. 
c. Her father of his best men armed fif 
teen, 
And they 're ridden after them bi- 

dene. 
21 1 . b, c. The lady looket [looked] over 

[owre] her left shoulder then. 
22 1 . b, c. If they come on me one by one, 
2 . b. Ye may stand by and see them fall. 

c. You may stand by till the fights be 

done. 

d. Then I will slay them every one. 
23 1 . b. all in all. d. all and all. 

2 . d. Then you will see me the sooner fall. 
24 2 . b. has slain. 

24. c. They came upon him one by one, 

Till fourteen battles he has won. 
And fourteen men he has them slain, 
Each after each upon the plain. 

25. C. But the fifteenth man behind stole 

round, 

And dealt him a deep and a deadly 
wound. 

26. c. Though he was wounded to the deid, 

He set his lady on her steed. 
27 1 . c. river Doune : 2 . b. And he lighted 
down. c. And there they lighted to wash 
his wound. 
28 2 . b. It 's but the glent. 

c. It 's nothing but the glent and my scar 
let hood. 

29 1 . c. yett. 

29 2 . b. Sae ruddly as he rappet at. 

c. So faint and feebly he rapped thereat. 
30 1 . b. O my son 's slain and cut down. 

c. O my son 's slain, he is falling to swoon. 
14 



32. b. . . . death of only one, 

But it 's been the death of fair seventeen. 
Instead of 32, c has : 

To a maiden true he '11 give his hand, 
To the king's daughter o fair England, 
To a prize that was won by a slain brother's 
brand. 

B. 3. A stanza resembling this is found in Beau 

mont and Fletcher's l Knight of the Burning 
Pestle' (1611), Dyce, n, 172, but may belong 
to some other ballad, as ' The Knight and Shep 
herd's Daughter : ' 

He set her on a milk-white steed, 

And himself upon a grey ; 
He never turned his face again, 

But he bore her quite away. 

8 4 . ware. 18 1 . Marie. 20 4 . flang'd. 

C. 12 8 . MS. scad. 

D. 10. The following stanza, superscribed " Mrs 
Lindores, Kelso," was found among Mr Kin- 
lock's papers, and was inserted at I, 331, of 
the Kinlock MSS. It may be a first recollec 
tion of D 10, but is more likely to be another 
version : 

''We raid over hill and we raid over dale, 
And we raid over mountains sae high, 

Until we cam in sicht o yon bonnie castle 

bowr 
Whare Sir William Arthur did lie.' 

E. 5-6. " Two stanzas are here omitted, in which 

Lord William offers her the choice of return 
ing to her mother, or of accompanying him ; 
and the ballad concludes with this [the 6th] 
stanza, which is twice repeated in singing." 
Motherwell's preface. 
P. 3 4 . MS. merrymen. 
6 2 . of one palfray. 

7, 8 are written in one stanza. Half a page, 
or about nine stanzas, is gone after st. 11. 



106 



8. ERLINTON 



8 
ERLINTON 

A. Erlinton,' Scott's Minstrelsy, in, 235, ed. 1803. 

B. True Tamraas,' Mr R. White's papers. 



C. ' Robin Hood and the Tanner's Daughter,' Gutch's 
Robin Hood, n, 345. 



* ERLINTON ' (A) first appeared in the Min 
strelsy of the Scottish Border, the text formed 
"from the collation of two copies obtained 
from recitation." B is a manuscript copy, 
furnished by the late Mr Robert White of 
Newcastle, and was probably taken down from 
recitation by Mr James Telfer early in the 
century. C, in which Robin Hood has taken 
the place of a hero who had at least connec- 
tions out of Great Britain, was first printed 
in Gutch's Robin Hood, from a manuscript of 
Mr Payne Collier, supposed to have been 
written about 1650. 

This ballad has only with much hesitation 
been separated from the foregoing. In this as 
in that, a man induces a maid to go off with 
him ; he is set upon by a party of fifteen in 
A, B, as in 7 A ; and he spares the life of one 
of his assailants [an old man, A, B, the younger 
brother, C]. Some agreements as to details 
with Scandinavian Ribold ballads have already 
been noticed, and it has been observed that 
while there is no vestige of the dead-naming 
in * Earl Brand,' there is an obvious trace of 
it in ' Erlinton ' A, B. ' Erlinton ' A, B has 
also one other correspondence not found in 
' Earl Brand,' the strict watch kept over 
the lady (st. 2). Even the bigly bower, ex 
pressly built to confine her in, is very likely a 
reminiscence or a displacement of the tower 
in which Hilde is shut up, after her elope 
ment, in some of the Scandinavian ballads 
(Danish 83 A, B ; Swedish A, dark house). 
But notwithstanding these resemblances to 
the Ribold story, there is a difference in the 
larger part of the details, and all the ' Erlin 
ton ' ballads have a fortunate conclusion, which 
also does not seem forced, as it does in Arwids- 
son, 107, the only instance, perhaps, in which 



a fortunate conclusion in a Ribold ballad is of 
the least account ; for Grundtvig's F, G are 
manifestly copies that have been tampered 
with, and Landstad 34 is greatly confused at 
the close. It may be an absolute accident, 
but ' Erlinton ' A, B has at least one point of 
contact with the story of Walter of Aqui- 
tania which is not found in ' Earl Brand.' 
This story requires to be given in brief on ac 
count of its kinship to both. 

Walter, with his betrothed Hildegunde, fly 
from the court of Attila, at which they have 
both lived as hostages since their childhood, 
taking with them two boxes of jewels. Gun- 
ther, king of Worms, learns that a knight and 
lady, with a richly-laden horse, have passed the 
Rhine, and sets out in pursuit, with twelve of 
his best fighting men, resolved to capture the 
treasure. The fugitives, after a very long 
ride, make a halt in a forest, and Walter 
goes to sleep with his head on Hildegunde's 
knees. The lady meanwhile keeps watch, and 
rouses her lover when she perceives by the 
dust they raise that horsemen are approach 
ing. Gunther sends one of his knights with a 
message demanding the surrender of the treas 
ure. Walter scornfully refuses, but expresses 
a willingness to make the king a present of a 
hundred bracelets, or rings, of red gold, in 
token of his respect. The messenger is sent 
back with directions to take the treasure by 
force, if it should be refused again. Walter, 
having vainly offered a present of two hundred 
bracelets to avoid a conflict, is attacked by the 
knight, whom he slays. Ten others go the 
way of this first, and only the king and one of 
his troop, Hagen, a very distinguished knight 
and an old comrade of Walter, remain. 
These now attack Walter ; the combat is long 



8. ERLINTON 



107 



and fierce; all three are seriously wounded, 
and finally so exhausted as to be forced to 
cease fighting. Walter and Hagen enter into 
a friendly talk while refreshing themselves 
with wine, and in the end Gunther * is put on 
a horse and conducted home by Hagen, while 
Walter and Hildegunde continue their jour 
ney to Aquitania. There they were married 
and ruled thirty happy years. (' Waltharius,' 
ed. R. Peiper, 1873.) 

The particular resemblances of 'Erlinton' 
A, B to 'Walter' are that the assailants are 
" bold knights," or " bravest outlaws," not the 
lady's kinsmen; that there are two parleys 
before the fight ; and that the hero survives 
the fight and goes off with his love. The ut 
most that could be insisted on is that some 
features of the story of Walter have been 
blended in the course of tradition with the 



kindred story of Ribold. ' Erlinton ' C is much 
less like ' Walter,' and more like ' Ribold.' 

The ' Sultan's Fair Daughter,' translated 
by Aigner, Ungarische Volksdichtungen, p. 
93, 2d ed., has perhaps derived something 
from the Walter story. Two Magyars escape 
from the Sultan's prison by the aid of his 
daughter, under promise of taking her to Hun 
gary. She often looks backwards, fearing pur 
suit. At last a large band overtake them. 
One of the Magyars guards the lady ; the other 
assaults the Turks, of whom he leaves only 
one alive, to carry back information. One of 
the two has a love at home ; the other takes 
the Sultan's daughter. 

' Erlinton ' is translated by Rosa Warrens, 
Schottische Volkslieder, No 24, and by Karl 
Knortz, Schottische Balladen, No 12. 



Scott's Minstrelsy, in, 235, ed. 1803 ; ed. 1833, n, 353. 
Made up from two copies obtained from recitation. 

1 ERLINTON had a fair daughter ; 

I wat he weird her in a great sin ; 
For he has built a bigly bower, 
An a' to put that lady in. 

2 An he has warnd her sisters six, 

An sae has he her brethren se'en, 
Outher to watch her a' the night, 
Or else to seek her morn an een. 

3 She hadna been i that bigly bower 

Na not a night but barely ane, 
Till there was Willie, her ain true love, 
Chappd at the door, cryin ' Peace within ! ' 

4 ' whae is this at my bower door, 

That chaps sae late, nor kens the gin ? ' 
' O it is Willie, your ain true love, 
I pray you rise an let me in ! ' 



5 ' But in my bower there is a wake, 

An at the wake there is a wane ; 
But I '11 come to the green-wood the morn, 
Whar blooms the brier, by mornin dawn.' 

6 Then she 's gane to her bed again, 

Where she has layen till the cock cr< 

thrice, 

Then she said to her sisters a', 
' Maidens, 't is time for us to rise.' 

7 She pat on her back her silken gown, 

An on her breast a siller pin, 
An she 's tane a sister in ilka hand, 
An to the green-wood she is gane. 

8 She hadna walkd in the green-wood 

Na not a mile but barely ane, 
Till there was Willie, her ain true love, 
Whae frae her sisters has her taen. 

9 He took her sisters by the hand, 

He kissd them baith, an sent them hame, 



* Gunther, as well remarked by Klee, ' Zur Hildesage,' p. 
19, cannot have belonged originally to the Hildegunde saga. 
No sufficient motive is furnished for introducing him. In 
the Polish version of the story there is only one pursuer, 



Arinoldus, whom Walter slays. Rischka, Verhaltniss der 
polnischen Sage von Walgierz Wdaly zu den deutschen 
Sagen von W. v. Aquitanien, p. 8 ff. 



108 



8. ERLINTON 



An he 's taen his true love him behind, 

And through the green-wood they are gane. 

10 They hadna ridden in the bonnie green-wood 

Na not a mile but barely ane, 
When there came fifteen o the boldest knights 
That ever bare flesh, blood, or bane. 

11 The foremost was an aged knight, 

He wore the grey hair on his chin : 
Says, ' Yield to me thy lady bright, 
An thou shalt walk the woods within.' 

12 ' For me to yield my lady bright 

To such an aged knight as thee, 
People wad think I war gane mad, 
Or a' the courage flown frae me.' 

13 But up then spake the second knight, 

I wat he spake right boustouslie : 

' Yield me thy life, or thy lady bright, 

Or here the tane of us shall die.' 

14 ' My lady is my warld's meed ; 

My life I winna yield to nane ; 



But if ye be men of your manhead, 
Ye '11 only fight me ane by ane.' 

15 He lighted aff his milk-white steed, 

An gae his lady him by the head, 
Sayn, ' See ye dinna change your cheer, 
Untill ye see my body bleed.' 

16 He set his back unto an aik, 

He set his feet against a stane, 

An he has fought these fifteen men, 

An killd them a' but barely ane. 



17 



For he has left that aged knight, 
An a' to carry the tidings hame. 

18 When he gaed to his lady fair, 
I wat he kissd her tenderlie : 
' Thou art mine ain love, I have thee 

bought ; 

Now we shall walk the green-wood 
free.' 



B 

MS. of Kobert White, Esq., of Newcastle, from James 
Telfer's collection. 

1 THERE was a knight, an he had a daughter, 

An he wad wed her, wi muckle sin ; 
Sae he has biggit a bonnie bower, love, 
An a' to keep his fair daughter in. 

2 But she hadna been in the bonnie bower, 

love, 

And no twa hours but barely ane, 
Till up started Tammas, her ain true lover, 
And sae fain as he wad been in. 

3 ' For a' sae weel as I like ye, Tammas, 

An for a' sae weel as I like the gin, 
I wadna for ten thousand pounds, love, 
Na no this night wad I let thee in. 

4 ' But yonder is a bonnie greenwud, 

An in the greenwud there is a wauk, 
An I '11 be there an sune the morn, love, 
It 's a' for my true love's sake. 



5 ' On my right hand I '11 have a glove, love, 

An on my left ane I '11 have nane ; 
I '11 have wi' me my sisters six, love, 
An we will wauk the wuds our lane.' 

6 They hadna waukd in the bonnie greenwud, 

Na no an hour but barely ane, 
Till up start Tammas, her ain true lover, 
He 's taen her sisters her frae mang. 

7 An he has kissed her sisters six, love, 

An he has sent them hame again, 
But he has keepit his ain true lover, 

Saying, ' We will wauk the wuds our lane.' 

8 They hadna waukd in the bonnie greenwud 

Na no an hour but barely ane, 
Till up start fifteen o the bravest outlaws 
That ever bure either breath or bane. 

9 An up bespake the foremost man, love, 

An O but he spake angrily : 
' Either your life or your lady fair, sir, 
This night shall wauk the wuds wi me.' 



8. ERLINTON 



109 



10 ' My lady fair, O I like her weel, sir, 

An O my life, but it lies me near ! 
But before I lose my lady fair, sir, 
I '11 rather lose my life sae dear.' 

11 Then up bespak the second man, love, 

An aye he spake mair angrily, 
Saying, ' Baith your life, and your lady fair, 

sir, 
This night shall wauk the wuds wi me.' 

12 ' My lady fair, O I like her weel, sir, 

An O my life, but it lies me near ! 
But before I lose my lady fair, sir, 
I '11 rather lose my life sae dear. 

13 ' But if ye '11 be men to your manhood, 

As that I will be unto mine, 



I '11 fight ye every ane man by man, 
Till the last drop's blude I hae be slain. 

14 ' sit ye down, my dearest dearie, 

Sit down and hold my noble steed, 
And see that ye never change your cheer 
Until ye see my body bleed.' 

15 He 's feughten a' the fifteen outlaws, 

The fifteen outlaws every ane, 
He 's left naething but the auldest man 
To go and carry the tidings hame. 

16 An he has gane to his dearest dear, 

An he has kissed her, cheek and chin, 
Saying, ' Thou art mine ain, I have bought 

thee dear, 
An we will wauk the wuds our lane.' 



O 



Gutch's Robin Hood, u, 345, from a MS. of Mr. Payne 
Collier's, supposed to have been written about 1650. 

1 As Robin Hood sat by a tree, 

He espied a prettie may, 
And when she chanced him to see, 
She turnd her head away. 

2 ' feare me not, thou prettie mayde, 

And doe not flie from mee ; 
I am the kindest man,' he said, 
' That ever eye did see.' 

3 Then to her he did doffe his cap, 

And to her lowted low ; 
' To meete with thee I hold it good hap, 
If thou wilt not say noe.' 

4 Then he put his hand around her waste, 

Soe small, so tight, and trim, 
And after sought her lip to taste, 
And she to kissed him. 

5 ' Where dost thou dwell, my prettie maide ? 

I prithee tell to me ; ' 
' I am a tanner's daughter,' she said, 
' John Hobbes of Barneslee.' 

6 ' And whither goest thou, pretty maide ? 

Shall I be thy true love ? ' 



' If thou art not afeard,' she said, * 

' My true love thou shalt prove.' 

7 ' What should I feare ? ' then he replied ; 

' I am thy true love now ; ' 
' I have two brethren, and their pride 
Would scorn such one as thou.' 

8 ' That will we try,' quoth Robin Hood ; 

' I was not made their scorne ; 
He shed my blood to doe the[e] good, 
As sure as they were borne.' 

9 ' My brothers are proude and fierce and strong ; ' 

' I am,' said he, ' the same, 
And if they offer thee to wrong,' 
Theyle finde He play their game. 

10 ' Through the free forrest I can run, 

The king may not controll ; 
They are but barking tanners' sons, 
To me they shall pay toll. 

11 ' And if not mine be sheepe and kine, 

I have cattle on my land ; 
On venison eche day I may dine, 
Whiles they have none in hand.' 

12 These wordes had Robin Hood scarce spoke, 

When they two men did see, 
Come riding till their horses smoke : 
' My brothers both,' cried shee. 



110 



8. ERLINTON 



13 Each had a good sword by his side, 

And furiouslie they rode 
To where. they Rohin Hood espied, 
That with the maiden stood. 

14 ' Flee hence, flee henoe, away with speede ! ' 

Cried she to Robin Hood, 
' For if thou stay, thoult surely bleede ; 
I could not see thy blood.' 

15 ' With us, false maiden, come away, 

And leave that outlawe bolde ; 
Why fledst thou from thy home this day, 
And left thy father olde ? ' 

16 Robin stept backe but paces five, 

Unto a sturdie tree ; 
' He fight whiles I am left alive ; 
Stay thou, sweete maide, with mee.' 

17 He stood before, she stoode behinde, 

The brothers two drewe nie ; 
' Our sister now to us resign, 
Or thou full sure shalt die.' 

18 Then cried the maide, ' My brethren deare, 

With ye He freely wend, 
But harm not this young forrester, 
Noe ill doth he pretend.' 

19 ' Stande up, sweete maide, I plight my troth ; 

Fall thou not on thy knee ; 
He force thy cruell brothers both 
To bend the knee to thee. 

20 ' Stand thou behinde this sturdie oke, 

I soone will quell their pride ; 
Thoult see my sword with furie smoke, 
And in their hearts' blood died.' 

21 He set his backe against a tree, 

His f oote against a stone ; 
The first blow that he gave so free 
Cleft one man to the bone. 

22 The tanners bold they fought right well, 

And it was one to two ; 



But Robin did them both refell, 
All in the damsell's viewe. 

23 The red blood ran from Robins brow, 

All downe unto his knee ; 
' O holde your handes, my brethren now, 
I will goe backe with yee.' 

24 ' Stand backe, stand backe, my pretty maide, 

Stand backe and let me fight ; 
By sweete St. James be no[t] afraide 
But I will it requite.' 

25 Then Robin did his sword uplift, 

And let it fall againe ; 
The oldest brothers head it cleft, 
Right through unto his braine. 

26 ' O hold thy hand, bolde forrester, 

Or ill may thee betide ; 
Slay not my youngest brother here, 
He is my father's pride.' 

27 ' Away, for I would scorne to owe, 

My life to the[e], false maide ! ' 
The youngest cried, and aimd a blow 
That lit on Robin's head. 

28 Then Robin leand against the tree, 

His life nie gone did seeme ; 
His eyes did swim, he could not see 
The maiden start betweene. 

29 It was not long ere Robin Hood 

Could welde his sword so bright ; 
Upon his feete he firmly stood, 
And did renew the fight. 

30 Untill the tanner scarce could heave 

His weapon in the aire ; 
But Robin would not him bereave 
Of life, and left him there. 

31 Then to the greenewood did he fly, 

And with him went the maide ; 
For him she vowd that she would dye, 
He 'd live for her, he said. 



A. 4 2 . Ed. 1833 has or kens. 

B. I 2 . If A I 2 be right, gross injustice is done the 
father by changing I wat he weird her into he 



wad wed her. One of the two is a singular 

corruption. 

There is another copy of B among Mr White's 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



111 



papers, with the title ' Sir Thamas,' which 
I have no doubt has been " revised," whether 
by Telfer, or by Mr White himself, it is im 
possible to say. The principal variations 
are here given, that others may be satisfied. 
I 2 , wed her mang his ain kin. I 4 , this fair. 
2 8 . Till up cam Thamas her only true love. 
3*. O tirl nae langer at the pin. 3 8 . I wadna 

for a hundred pounds, love. 3 4 . can I. 
4 8 . fu soon. 4 4 . And by oursels we twa can 

talk. 
5 1 ' 2 . I '11 hae a glove on my right hand, love, 

And on my left I shall hae nane. 
6 s " 4 . Beyond an hour, or scarcely twa, 

When up rode Thamas, her only true love, 
And he has tane her frae mang them a'. 
7 1 . He kissed her sisters, a' the six, love. 7 8 . 
his winsome true love. 7 4 . That they might 
walk. 

8 1 . didna walk. 

8 M . Beyond two hours, or barely three, 
Till up cam seven * stalwart outlaws, 
The bauldest fellows that ane could see. 

* " The original ballad had fifteen. Seven would do as 
well, and the latter number would seem more nearly to re 
semble the truth." 



9 8 . We '11 take your life, for this lady fair, sir. 
10 1 . My lady 's fair, I like her weel, sir. 
II 2 * 8 . And he spak still mair furiously ; 

1 Flee, or we '11 kill ye, because your lady. 

12. ' My lady fair, I shall part na frae thee, 

And for my life, I did never fear ; 
Sae before I lose my winsome lady, 
My life I '11 venture for ane sae dear. 

13. ' But if ye 're a' true to your manhood, 

As I shall try to be true to mine, 
I '11 fight ye a', come man by man then, 
Till the last drop o my bloud I tine.' 
14 2 . my bridled steed. 14 8 . And mind ye never 
change your colour. ^ 

15. He fought against the seven outlaws, 

And he has beat them a' himsel ; 
But he left the auldest man amang them 
That he might gae and the tidings tell. 

16. Then he has gane to his dearest dearie, 

And he has kissed her oer and oer ; 
' Though thou art mine, I hae bought thee 

dearly, 
Now we shall sunder never more.' 

C. I 1 . Robinhood, and so always. 

31. After this : Finis, T. Fleming. 



9 
THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 

A. a. Deloney's ' Jack of Newbury,' reprint of 1859, C. ' The Betrayed Lady.' a. Buchan's MSS, n, 166. 
p. 61. b. ' The Ungrateful Knight and the Fair b. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, n, 
Flower of Northumberland,' Ritson's Ancient Songs, 208. 

1790, p. 169. 

D. Motherwell's MS., p. 102. 

B. a. Kinloch MSS, v, 49. b. ' The Provost's Doch- 

ter,' Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 131. E. < The Flower of Northumberland,' Mr Robert White's 

papers. 



THE earliest copy of this ballad is intro 
duced as ' The Maidens' Song,' f in Deloney's 
Pleasant History of John Winchcomb, in his 
younger yeares called Jacke of Newberie, a 
book written as early as 1597. Mr Halliwell 
reprinted the " 9th" edition, of the date 1633,$ 

t " Two of them singing the dittie," says Deloney, " and 
all the rest bearing the burden." 



in 1859, and the ballad is found at p. 61 of the 
reprint (A). The copy in Ritson's Ancient 
Songs, 1790, p. 169, has a few variations, 
which are probably to be explained by Rit- 
son having used some other edition of De 
loney. Ritson's text is used in The Border- 

t The earliest edition now known to exist is of 16l9. 



112 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



er's Table Book, VI, 25, and was taken thence 
into Sheldon's Minstrelsy of the English Bor 
der, with some arbitrary alterations. The 
ballad was formerly popular in Scotland. Kin- 
loch and Buchan printed B and C with some 
slight changes ; the texts are now given as they 
stand in the manuscripts. E, a traditional 
version from the English border, has unfortu 
nately been improved by some literary pen. 

An English lady is prevailed upon to release 
a Scot from prison, and to fly with him, on 
the promise of being made his wife, and (A) 
lady of u castles and towers. She takes much 
gold with her (A), and a swift steed (two, A). 
According to A they come to a rough river ; 
the lady is alarmed, but swims it, and is wet 
from top to toe. On coming within sight of 
Edinburgh, the faithless knight bids her choose 
whether she will be his paramour or go back : 
he has wife and children. She begs him to 
draw his sword and end her shame : he takes 
her horse away, and leaves her. Two English 
knights come by, who restore her to her fa 
ther. The dismissal takes place at the Scottish 
cross and moor in B ; at a moor and a moss, C ; 
at Scotland bridge, D ; at a fair Scottish cross, 
B. She offers to be servant in his kitchen 
rather than go back, B, C, E ; begs him to 
throw her into the water, D ; from his castle 
wall, E. He fees an old man to take her 
home on an old horse, B, E. 

We do not find the whole of this story re 
peated among other European nations, but 
there are interesting agreements in parts with 
Scandinavian, Polish,- and German ballads. 

There is some resemblance in the first half 
to a pretty ballad of the northern nations 
which treats in a brief way the theme of our 
exquisite romance of ' The Nutbrown Maid : ' 
Danish, ' Den Trofaste Jomfru,' Grundtvig, 
No 249, rv, 494, nine copies, A-I, the first 
three from 16th or 17th century manuscripts, 
the others from tradition of this century, as are 

* Some of these ballads begin with stanzas which are 
found also in Kvindemorderen and Ribold ballads (our No 
4, No 7), where also a young woman is carried off furtively 
by a man. This is only what is to be expected. 

t By mistake, most probably. But in one of the Polish 
ballads, cited a little further on, Q (Kolberg, P. 1. Pol- 



also the following : K-M, ' Den Fredl0se,' Kris- 
tensen, n, 191, No 57 : Swedish, ' De sju Gull- 
bergen,' A, Afzelius, No 79, in, 71, new ed., 
No 64, I, 322; B, C, Grundtvig, iv, 507 f: 
Norwegian A, 'Herre Per og stolt Margit,' 
Landstad, No 74, p. 590 ; B, Herr' Nikelus,' 
Landstad, No 75, p. 594.* All tell very much 
the same tale. A knight carries off a maid 
on his horse, making her magnificent promises, 
among which are eight gold castles, Dan. C, D, 
E, H, I ; one, K, L, M ; eight, Norw. A ; nine, 
Norw. B ; seven, Swed. B ; seven gold moun 
tains, Swed. A, perhaps, by mistake of bergen 
for bor^ar.f She gets her gold together while 
he is saddling his horse, Dan. A, C, D, P, H, 
M ; Swed. A ; Norw. A, B. They come to a 
sea-strand or other water, it is many miles to 
the nearest land, Dan. B, D, Swed. A, C ; 
the lady wishes she were at home, Dan. E, P, 
Swed. B, C. He swims the horse across, Dan. 
A, B, D, E, F, H, K, L, M ; Swed. A, B, C 
[part of the way, having started in a boat, 
Norw. A, B]. The maid wrings her clothes, 
Dan. A, D, K, L ; Swed. A ; Norw. A, B. 
She asks, Where are the gold castles which 
you promised ? Dan. C 7, D 14, K 9, L 7, 
M 8 ; Norw. A 22, B 16.$ He tells her that 
he has no gold castle but this green turf, 
Dan. C 8 ; he needs none but the black ground 
and thick wood, Dan. K 10 : he is a penni 
less, banished man. She offers him her gold 
to buy him a charter of peace. In all, except 
Dan. A, B, C, and the incomplete Dan. I, 
Norw. B, he goes on to say that he has plighted 
faith to another woman, and she meekly re 
plies, Then I will be your servant. He con^ 
tinues the trial no further, reveals himself 
as of wealth and rank, says that she shall have 
ladies to wait on her, and makes her his queen. 
The knight is king of England in Dan. B, H, 
King Henry, simply, in Dan. F. The gold 
castles prove to be realities : there is in Dan. 
E even one more than was promised. 

skiego, 5 pp), the maid is told, " lu my country the moun 
tains are golden, the mountains are of gold." 
t So 'Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight,' D 11 : 

' Is this your bowers and lofty towers ? ' 

There is a similarity, which is perhaps not accidental, 
between these Scandinavian ballads and 'Child Waters.' 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



113 



The Polish ballads of the class of 'Lady 
Isabel and the Elf Knight ' (see p. 39 f) have 
thus much in common with ' The Fair Flower 
of Northumberland : ' a maid is induced to go 
off with a man on horseback, and takes gold 
with her ; after going a certain distance, he 
bids her return home ; in AA, H, R, he gives 
her her choice whether to return or to jump 
into the river ; she prefers death (cf. D 3, 5, 
p. 116) ; in all they finally come to a river, or 
other water, into which he throws her.* 

There is a German ballad which has some 
slight connection with all the foregoing, and 
a very slight story it is altogether : ' Stolz 
Heinrich,' Simrock, No 9, p. 23, ' Stolz Sy- 
burg,' Reiffenberg, No 16, p. 32, No 17, p. 34, 
from the Lower Rhine and Miinster ; made 
over, in Kretzschmer, I, 187, No 106. Hein 



rich, or Syburg, wooes a king's daughter in 
a distant land. He asks her to go with him, 
and says he has seven mills in his country. 
" Tell me what they grind," says Margaret, 
" and I will go with you." The mills grind 
sugar and cinnamon, mace and cloves. They 
come to a green heath. Margaret thinks she 
sees the mills gleaming : he tells her that a 
green heath is all he has. " Then God have 
mercy that I have come so far," she says; 
draws a sword, kneels before him, and stabs 
herself. 

The ballad of ' Young Andrew,' further 
on, has points in common with ' The Fair 
Flower of Northumberland.' 

C is translated by Rosa Warrens, Schot- 
tische Lieder der Vorzeit, No 31, p. 137. 



a. Deloney's Pleasant History of John Winchcomb, 9th 
ed., London, 1633, reprinted by Halliwell, p. 61. b. Ritson's 
Ancient Songs, 1790, p. 169. 

1 IT was a knight in Scotland borne 

Follow, my love, come over the strand 
Was taken prisoner, and left forlorne, 

Even by the good Earle of Northumber 
land. 

2 Then was he cast in prison strong, 
Where he could not walke nor lie along, 

Even by the goode Earle of Northumber 
land. 

3 And as in sorrow thus he lay, 

The Earle's sweete daughter walkt that way, 
And she the faire flower of Northumber 
land. 

4 And passing by, like an angell bright, 
The prisoner had of her a sight, 

And she the faire flower of Northumber 
land. 

Child Waters makes Ellen swim a piece of water, shows her 
his hall " of red gold shines the tower " where the fair 
est lady is his paramour, subjects her to menial services, and 
finally, her patience withstanding all trials, marries her. 
* They pass the water in Q only, and that in a boat. 
15 



5 And loud to her this knight did crie, 
The salt teares standing in his eye, 

And she the faire flower of Northumberland. 

6 ' Faire lady,' he said, ' take pity on me, 
And let me not in prison dye, 

And you the faire flower of Northumber 
land.' 

7 i Faire Sir, how should I take pity on thee, 
Thou being a foe to our countrey, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland.' 

8 ' Faire lady, I am no foe,' he said, 

' Through thy sweet love heere was I stayd, 
For thee, the faire flower of Northumber 
land.' 

9 ' Why shouldst thou come heere for love of me, 
Having wife and children in thy countrie ? 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland.' 

10 ' I sweare by the blessed Trinitie, 
I have no wife nor children, I, 

Nor dwelling at home in merrie Scotland. 

She is thrown in from a bridge in V, W, the bridge of Cra 
cow in C : cf. Scotland bridge, D 2 of this ballad. By a 
curious accident, it is at a wayside crucifix that the man be 
gins his change of demeanor in Polish CC 2 (Kolberg, 
ddd), as in B 5, E 7, of this ballad, it is at a Scottish cross. 



114 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



11 ' If curteously you will set me free, 
I vow that I will marrie thee, 

So soone as I come in faire Scotland. 

12 ' Thou shalt be a lady of castles and towers, 
And sit like a queene in princely bowers, 

When I am at home in faire Scotland.' 

13 Then parted hence this lady gay, 
And got her father's ring away, 

To helpe this sad knight into faire Scot 
land. 

14 Likewise much gold she got by sleight, 
And all to helpe this forlorne knight 

To wend from her father to faire Scotland. 

15 Two gallant steedes, both good and able, 
She likewise tooke out of the stable, 

To ride with this knight into faire Scotland. 

16 And to the jaylor she sent this ring, 
The knight from prison forth to bring, 

To wend with her into faire Scotland. 

17 This token set the prisoner free, 
Who straight went to this faire lady, 

To wend with her into faire Scotland. 

18 A gallant steede he did bestride, 
And with the lady away did ride, 

And she the faire flower of Northumber 
land. 

19 They rode till they came to a water cleare : 
' Good Sir, how should I follow you heere, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland ? 

20 ' The water is rough and wonderfull deepe, 
An[d] on my saddle I shall not keepe, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland.' 

21 ' Feare not the foord, faire lady,' quoth he, 
' For long I cannot stay for thee, 

And thou the faire flower of Northumber 
land.' 

22 The lady prickt her wanton steed, 
And over the river sworn with speede, 

And she the faire flower of Northumber 
land. 



23 From top to toe all wet was shee : 

* This have I done for love of thee, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland.' 

24 Thus rode she all one winter's night, 
Till Edenborow they saw in sight, 

The chiefest towne in all Scotland. 

25 ' Now chuse,' quoth he, ' thou wanton flower, 
Whe'r thou wilt be my paramour, 

Or get thee home to Northumberland. 

26 ' For I have wife, and children five, 
In Edenborow they be alive ; 

Then get thee home to faire England. 

27 ' This favour shalt thou have to boote, 
lie have thy horse, go thou on foote, 

Go, get thee home to Northumberland.' 

28 ' O false and faithlesse knight,' quoth shee, 
' And canst thou deale so bad with me, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland? 

29 ' Dishonour not a ladie's name, 

But draw thy sword and end my shame, 
And I the faire flower of Northumberland.' 

30 He tooke her from her stately steed, 
And left her there in extreme need, 

And she the faire flower of Northumberland. 

31 Then sate she downe full heavily ; 

At length two knights came riding by, 
Two gallant knights of faire England. 

32 She fell downe humbly on her knee, 
Saying, ' Courteous knights, take pittie on me, 

And I the faire flower of Northumberland. 

33 ' I have offended my father deere, 

And by a false knight that brought me heere, 
From the good Earle of Northumberland.' 

34 They tooke her up behind them then, 
And brought her to her father's againe, 

And he the good Earle of Northumberland. 

35 All you faire maidens be warned by me, 
Scots were never true, nor never will be, 

To lord, nor lady, nor faire England. 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND. 



115 



B 

a. Kinloch MSS, v, 49, in the handwriting of J. Beattie. 
b. Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 134, from the reci 
tation of Miss E. Beattie. 

1 THE provost's daughter went out a walking, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
She heard a poor prisoner making his moan, 
And she was the fair flower of Northumber 
land. 

2 ' If any lady would borrow me 

Out into the prison strong, 
I would make her a lady of high degree, 
For I am a great lord in fair Scotland.' 

3 She 's done her to her father's bed-stock, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
She 's stolen the keys o many braw lock, 

And she 's loosd him out o the prison strong. 

4 She 's done her to her father's stable, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
She 's taen out a steed that was both swift and 

able, 
To carry them both to fair Scotland. 

5 when they came to the Scottish cross, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
' Ye brazen-faced whore, light off o my horse, 
And go get you back to Northumberland ! ' 

6 when they came to the Scottish moor, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
' Get off o my horsey you 're a brazen-faced 

whore, 
So go get you back to Northumberland ! ' 

7 ' O pity on me, O pity,' said she, 

' O that my love was so easy won ! 
Have pity on me as I had upon thee, 

When I loosd you out of the prison strong.' 



8 ' O how can I have pity on thee ? 

O why was your love so easy won ! 
When I have a wife and children three 
More worthy than a' Northumberland.' 

9 ' Cook in your kitchen I will be, 

that my love was so easy won ! 
And serve your lady most reverently, 

For I darena go back to Northumberland.' 

10 ' Cook in my kitchen you shall not be, 

Why was your love so easy won ! 
For I will have no such servants as thee, 
So get you back to Northumberland.' 

11 But laith was he the lassie to tyne, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
He 's hired an old horse and feed an old man, 
To carry her back to Northumberland. 

12 when she came her father before, 

A may's love whiles is easy won 
She fell down on her knees so low 

For she was the fair flower of Northumber 
land. 

13 ' O daughter, daughter, why was ye so bold, 

Or why was your love so easy won, 
To be a Scottish whore in your fifteen year old ? 
And you the fair flower of Northumberland ! ' 

14 Her mother she gently on her did smile, 

O that her love was so easy won ! 
' She is not the first that the Scotts havebeguild, 
But she 's still the fair flower of Northum 
berland. 

15 ' She shanna want gold, she shanna want fee, 

Altho that her love was so easy won, 
She shanna want gold to gain a man wi, 

And she 's still the fair flower of Northum 
berland.' 







a. Buchan's MSS, 11, 166. 
North of Scotland, n, 208. 



b. Buchau's Ballads of the 



1 As I went by a jail-house door, 

Maid's love whiles is easy won 
I saw a prisoner standing there, 

' I wish I were home in fair Scotland. 



2 ' Fair maid, will you pity me ? 

Ye '11 steal the keys, let me gae free : 
I '11 make you my lady in fair Scotland. 

3 ' I 'm sure you have no need of me, 
For ye have a wife and bairns three, 

That lives at home in fair Scotland.' 



116 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



4 He swore by him that was crownd with 

thorn, 
That he never had a wife since the day he was 

horn, 
But livd a free lord in fair Scotland. 

5 She went unto her father's bed-head, 
She 's stown the key o mony a lock, 

She 's let him out o prison strong. 

6 She 's went to her father's stable, 

She 's stown a steed baith wight and able, 
To carry them on to fair Scotland. 

7 They rode till they came to a muir, 

He bade her light aff, they 'd call her a 

whore, 
If she didna return to Northumberland. 

8 They rode till they came to a moss, 

He bade her light aff her father's best horse, 
And return her again to Northumberland. 



9 ' I 'm sure I have no need of thee, 
When I have a wife and bairns three, 
That lives at home in fair Scotland.' 

10 ' I '11 be cook in your kitchen, 
And serve your lady handsomelie, 

For I darena gae back to Northumberland.' 

11 'Ye cannot be cook in my kitchen, 
My lady cannot fa sic servants as thee, 

So ye '11 return again to Northumberland.' 

12 When she went thro her father's ha, 
She looted her low amongst them a', 

She was the fair flower o Northumberland. 

13 Out spake her father, he spake bold, 

' How could ye be a whore in fifteen years old, 
And you the flower of Northumberland ? ' 

14 Out spake her mother, she spake wi a smile, 
' She 's nae the first his coat did beguile, 

Ye 're welcome again to Northumberland.' 



Motherwell's MS., p. 102. 

1 SHE 's gane down to her father's stable, 

O my dear, and my love that she wan 
She 's taen out a black steed baith sturdy and 

able, 
And she 's away to fair Scotland. 

2 When they came to Scotland bridge, 

' Light off, you whore, from my black steed, 
And go your ways back to Northumber 
land.' 



3 ' take me by the body so meek, 
And throw me in the water so deep, 

For I daurna gae back to Northumberland.' 

4 ' I '11 no take thee by the body so meek, 
Nor throw thee in the water so deep ; 

Thou may go thy ways back to Northumber 
land.' 

5 ' Take me by the body so small, 
And throw me in yon bonny mill-dam, 

For I daurna gae back to Northumberland.' 



E 



" Written down from memory by Robert Hutton, Shep 
herd, Peel, Liddesdale." Mr R. White's papers. 

1 A BAILIFF'S fair daughter, she lived by the Aln, 

A young maid's love is easily won 
She heard a poor prisoner making his moan, 
And she was the flower of Northumberland. 

2 ' If ye could love me, as I do love thee, 

A young maid's love is hard to win 



I '11 make you a lady of high degree, 

When once we go down to fair Scotland.' 

3 To think of the prisoner her heart was sore, 

A young maid's love is easily won 
Her love it was much, but her pity was more, 
And she, etc. 

4 She stole from her father's pillow the key, 
And out of the dungeon she soon set him free, 

And she, etc. 



9. THE FAIR FLOWER OF NORTHUMBERLAND 



117 



5 She led him into her father's stahle, 

And they 've taken a steed both gallant and 

able, 
To carry them down to fair Scotland. 

6 When they first took the way, it was darling 

and dear ; 
As forward they fared, all changed was his 

cheer, 
And she, etc. 

7 They rode till they came to a fair Scottish 

corse ; 
Says he, ' Now, pray madam, dismount from 

my horse, 
And go get you back to Northumberland. 

8 ' It befits not to ride with a leman light, 
When awaits my returning my own lady 

bright, 
My own wedded wife in fair Scotland.' 

9 The words that he said on her fond heart 

smote, 

She knew not in sooth if she lived or not, 
And she, etc. 

10 She looked to his face, and it kythed so unkind 
That her fast coming tears soon rendered her 

blind, 
And she, etc. 

11 ' Have pity on me as I had it on thee, 

O why was my love so easily won ! 
A slave in your kitchen I 'm willing to be, 
But I may not go back to Northumberland. 

12 ' Or carry me up by the middle sae sma, 

O why was my love so easily won ! 



And fling me headlong from your high castle wa, 
For I dare not go back to Northumberland.' 

13 Her wailing, her woe, for nothing they went, 

A young maid's love is easily won 
His bosom was stone and he would not relent, 
And she, etc. 

14 He turned him around and he thought of a plan, 
He bought an old horse and he hired an old man, 

To carry her back to Northumberland. 

15 A heavy heart makes a weary way, 

She reached her home in the evening gray, 
And she, etc. 

16 And all as she stood at her father's tower-gate, 
More loud beat her heart than her knock thereat, 

And she, etc. 

17 Down came her step-dame, so rugged and 

doure, 

O why was your love so easily won ! 
' In Scotland go back to your false paramour, 
For you shall not stay here in Northumber 
land.' 

18 Down came her father, he saw her and smiled, 

A young maid's love is easily won 
' You are not the first that false Scots have be 
guiled, 

And ye 're aye welcome back to Northum 
berland. 

19 ' You shall not want houses, you shall not want 

land, 

You shall not want gold for to gain a husband, 
And ye 're aye welcome back to Northum 
berland.' 



A. a. 2. HalliwelVs Deloney, in the first line of 
the burden, has leape over, but not elsewhere. 

9 2 . in the. 25 2 . Where, 
b. 3 2 . walks. 3*. she is. 
5 1 . aloud. 
13 8 . omits sad. 
15 s . the knight. 
16 2 . forth did. 
24 s . The fairest. 
27 1 . thou shalt. 
32 2 . knight. 



35 2 . never were. 

B. b. 2 2 . this prison. 

4 8 . omits that was. 
6 s . ye brazen-fac'd. 
II 8 . He hired. 
12 8 . fell at his feet. 

13 1 . omits so. 

14 1 . mother on her sae gentlie smild, etc. 

C. a. 8 2 . Her bade. 8 8 . return him. 
b. 5 1 . into. 

13 2 . at fifteen. 



118 10. THE TWA SISTERS 

D. 2. Thus in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Appen- E. " The Flower of Northumberland. Written 

dix, p. xv : down from memory by Robert Hutton, Shep- 

When they came to Scotland brig, perd, Peel, Liddesdale, and sent by James 

O my dear, my love that she wan ! Telf or to his friend Robert White, Newcastle 

' Light off, ye hure, from my black steed, on Tyne. 20 copies printed." Mr White's 

And hie ye awa to Northumberland.' note. 



10 
THE TWA SISTERS 

A. a. ' The Miller and the King's Daughter,' broadside K. ' Binnorie,' Kinloch's papers, 
of 1656, Notes and Queries, 1st S., v, 591. b. Wit 

Restor'd, 1658, " p. 51," in the reprint of 1817, p. 153. L. a. ' The Miller's Melody,' Notes and Queries, 1st S., 

c. ' The Miller and the Kino's Daughters,' Wit and v, 316. b. ' The Drowned Lady,' The Scouring of 

Drollery, ed. 1682, p. 87. d. 'The Miller and the the White Horse, p. 161. 

King's Daughter,' Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i, 

315. M. ' Binorie, O an Binorie,' Murison MS., p. 79. 

B. a. ' The Twa Sisters,' Jamieson-Brown MS., fol. N. < Binnorie,' [Pinkertou's] Scottish Tragic Ballads, 
39. b. ' The Cruel Sister,' Wm. Tytler's Brown p. 72. 

MS., No 15. c. 'The Cruel Sister,' Abbotsford MS., 

"Scottish Songs," fol. 21. d. 'The Twa Sisters,' O. ' The Bonny Bows o London.' a. Buchan's Ballads 
Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i, 48. of the North of Scotland, n, 128. b. Christie's Tra 

ditional Ballad Airs, i, 42. 

C. ' The Cruel Sister,' Scott's Minstrelsy, n, 143 

(1802). P. a. ' The Twa Sisters,' Motherwell's MS., p. 245. b. 

' The Swan swims bonnie O,' Motherwell's Minstrel- 

D. * The Bonnie Milldams of Binnorie,' Kinloch MSS, sy, Appendix, p. xx. 
n, 49. 

Q. ' The Twa Sisters,' communicated by J. F. Camp- 

E. ' The Twa Sisters,' Sharpe's Ballad Book, No x, p. bell, Esq. 
30. 

R. a. ' The Three Sisters,' Notes and Q., 1st S., vi, 

P. ' The Bonny Bows o London,' Motherwell's MS., 102. b. ' Bodown,' communicated by J. F. Camp- 

p. 383. bell, Esq. c. ' The Barkshire Tragedy,' The Scour 

ing of the White Horse, p. 158. 
G. Motherwell's MS., p. 104. 

S. Kinloch MSS, vi, 89. 
H. Motherwell's MS., p. 147. 

T. ' Sister, dear Sister,' Allingham's Ballad Book, p. 
I. ' Bonnie Milldams o Binnorie,' Kinloch MSS, v, 425. xxxiii. 

J. ' The Miller's Melody,' Notes and Queries, 4th S., U. From Long Island, N. Y., communicated by Mr W. 
v, 23. W. Newell. 



THIS is one of the very few old ballads some old nurse, who sang them to the young 
which are not extinct as tradition in the Brit- ladies." * It has been found in England, Scot- 
ish Isles. Even drawing-room versions are , ^ , f ., w f TT^MOT, 

* Campbell s Popular Talcs of the West Highlands, iv, 

spoken of as current, " generally traced to 126, 1862. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



119 



land, Wales, and Ireland, and was very early 
in print. Dr Rimbaulfc possessed and pub 
lished a broadside of the date 1656 * (A a), 
and the same copy is included in the miscel 
lany called Wit Restor'd, 1658. Both of 
these name " Mr Smith " as the^author ; that 
is, Dr James Smith, a well-known writer of 
humorous verses, to whom the larger part of 
the pieces in Wit Restor'd has been attrib 
uted. If the ballad were ever in Smith's hands, 
he might possibly have inserted the three bur 
lesque stanzas, 11-13 ; but similar verses are 
found in another copy (L a), and might easily 
be extemporized by any singer of sufficiently 
bad taste. Wit and Drollery, the edition of 
1682, has an almost identical copy of the bal 
lad, and this is repeated in Dryden's Miscel 
lany, edition of 1716, Part III, p. 316. In 1781 
Pinkerton inserted in his Tragic Ballads one 
with the title * Binnorie,' purporting to be 
from Scottish tradition. Of twenty-eight coup 
lets, barely seven are genuine. Scott printed 
in 1802 a copy (C) compounded from one " in 
Mrs Brown's MS." (B b) and a fragment of 
fourteen stanzas which had been transcribed 
from recitation by Miss Charlotte Brooke, 
adopting a.burden found in neither, f Jamie- 
son followed, four years after, with a tolera 
bly faithful, though not, as he says, verbatim, 
publication of his copy of Mrs Brown's ballad, 
somewhat marred, too, by acknowledged in 
terpolations. This text of Mrs Brown's is 
now correctly given, with the whole or frag 
ments of eleven others, hitherto unpublished. 

The ballad is as popular with the Scandi 
navians as with their Saxon cousins. Grundfc- 
vig, ' Den talende Strengeleg,' No 95, gives 
nine Danish versions and one stanza of a tenth ; 
seven, A-B, in n, 507 ff, the remainder, H-K, 

* Jamieson, in his Popular Ballads, n, 315, prints the bal 
lad, with five inconsiderable variations from the broadside, 
as from Musarum Deliciae, 2d edition, 1656. The careful 
reprint of this book, and of the same edition, in " Facetiae," 
etc., 1817, does not contain this piece, and the first edition, 
of 1655, differed in no respect as to contents, according to 
the editor of " Facetiae." Still it is hardly credible that 
Jamiesou has blundered, and we may suppose that copies, 
ostensibly of the same edition, varied as to contents, a thing 
common enough with old books. 

t Cunningham has re-written Scott's version, Songs of 
Scotland, u, 109, 'The Two Fair Sisters.' He says, "I 



in in, 875 ff. One more, L, is added by Kris- 
tensen, No 96, I, 253. Of these, only E had 
been previously printed. All are from tra 
dition of this century. 

There are two Icelandic versions, A from 
the 17th, B from the 19th, century, printed 
in Islenzk FornkvseSi, No 13, ' Horpu kvseSi.' 

Of twelve Norwegian versions, A, by Moe, 
" is printed in Norske Universitets og Skole- 
Annaler for 1850, p. 287," and in Moe's Sam- 
lede Skrifter, n, 118, ' Dae bur ein Mann hser 
utmae Aa ; ' B, by Lindeman,- Annaler, as be 
fore, "p. 496," and in his Norske Fjeldmelodier, 
vol. I, Tekst-Bilag, p. 4, No 14, ' Dei tvse Sys- 
ta ; ' C, by Landstad, ' Dei tvo systar,' No 53, 
p. 480 ; D-L are described by Professor Bugge 
in Grundtvig, in, 877 f ; M " is printed in II- 
lustreret Nyhedsblads Nytaarsgave for 1860, 
p. 77, Christiania." 

Four Faroe versions are known : A, ' Horpu- 
rima,'."in Svabo's MS., No 16, I, 291," incor 
rectly printed by Afzelius, I, 86, and accu 
rately, from a copy furnished by Grundtvig, 
in Bergstrom's edition of Afzelius, n, 69 ; B, 
a compound of two versions taken down by 
Pastor Lyngbye and by Pastor Schroter, in 
Nyeste Skilderie af Kj0benhavn, 1821, col. 
997 ff ; C, a transcript from recitation by Ham- 
mershaimb (Grundtvig) ; D, *' in Fugloyjar- 
b6k, No 31." 

Swedish versions are : A, ' Den underbara 
Harpan,' Afzelius, No 17, I, 81, new ed., No 
16, i, I, 72 : B, ' De tva Systrarne,' Afzelius, 
No 69, in, 16, new ed., No 16, 2, i, 74 : C, 

D, E, imprinted copies in Cavallius and Ste- 
phens's collection : F, ' De tva Systrarne,' Ar- 
widsson, No 99, n, 139 : G, ' Systermordet,' 

E. Wigstrom, Skanska Visor, p. 4, and the 
same, Folkdiktning, etc., No 7, p. 19 : H, 

was once deeply touched with the singing of this romantic 
and mournful song. ... I have ventured to print it in the 
manner I heard it sung." There is, to be sure, no reason 
why he should not have heard his own song sung, once, and 
still less why he should not have been deeply touched with 
his own pathos. Cunningham adds one genuine stanza, 
resembling the first of G, J, P: 

Two fair sisters lived in a bower, 

Hey ho my nonnie O 
There came a knight to be their wooer. 

While the swan swims bonnie 



120 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



Rancken, Nagra Prof af Folksang, No 3, p. 
10. Afzelius, moreover, gives variations from 
four other copies which he had collected, in, 
20 if, new ed., II, 74 ff; and Rancken from 
three others. Both of the editors of the new 
Afzelius have recently obtained excellent copies 
from singers. The ballad has also been found 
in Finnish, Bergstrom's Afzelius, II, 79. 

There is a remarkable agreement between 
the Norse and English ballads till we ap 
proach the conclusion of the story, with a 
natural diversity as to some of the minuter 
details. 

The sisters are king's daughters in English 
A, B, C, H, O (?), P, Q, R a, and in Swed 
ish B and two others of Afzelius's versions. 
They are an earl's daughters in Swedish F, 
and sink to farmer's daughters in English 
R b, c,* Swedish A, G, Norwegian C. 

It is a thing made much of in most of the 
Norse ballads that the younger sister is fair 
and the older dark ; the younger is bright as 
the sun, as white as ermine or as milk, the elder 
black as soot, black as the earth, Icelandic 
A, Swedish A, B, G, Danish A, D, etc. ; and 
this difference is often made the ground for 
very unhandsome taunts, which qualify our 
compassion for the younger; such as Wash 
all day, and you will be no whiter than God 
made you, Wash as white as you please, you 
will never get a lover, Faroe A, B, Nor 
wegian A, C^ etc. This contrast may possibly 
be implied in " the youngest was the fairest 
flower," English F, G, Q [" sweetest," D], but 
is expressed only in M, " Ye was fair and I 
was din " (dun), and in P a, " The old was 
black and the young ane fair." 

The scene of action is a seashore in Ice 
landic and Faroe A, B, Norwegian A, Swedish 
A, B, G, H, and in all the Danish complete 
copies : a seashore, or a place where ships 
come in, in English A, B a, D-I, Q, R a, T, but 
in all save the last of these (the last is only 
one stanza) we have the absurdity of a body 

* English M is confused on this point. The sisters live 
in a hall. The burden in st. 1 makes them love a miller-lad ; 
but in 14, 15, calls the drowned girl " the bonnie miller's-lass 
o Binorie." 

t The sisters, D, I, walk by, up, a linn ; G, go to a sand 
[strand] ; Q, go to the stream ; R a, walk on the bryn. 



drowned in navigable water being discovered 
floating down a mill-stream. f B c has "the 
deep mill-dam ; " C " the river- strand," per 
haps one of Scott's changes ; M, " the dams ; " 
L, O, P, R b c, a river, Tweed mill-clam, 
or the water of Tweed. Norwegian B has a 
river. 

The pretence for the older sister's taking 
the younger down to the water is in Eng 
lish A-E, G, H, I, O, Q, to see their father's 
ships come in ; in Icelandic B to wash their 
silks ; J in most of the Norse ballads to wash 
themselves, so that, as the elder says, " we 
may be alike white," Danish C-H, Norwegian 

A, C, Swedish F, G, Faroe A, B. Malice pre 
pense is attributed to the elder in Swedish B, 
F, Norwegian C, Danish B, F, G : but in Fa 
roe A, B, Norwegian A, B, and perhaps some 
other cases, a previous evil intent is not cer 
tain, and the provocations of the younger sister 
may excuse the elder so far. 

The younger is pushed from a stone upon 
which she sits, stands, or steps, in English B, 
C, B-H, M, O, Q, Icelandic A, B, Faroe A, 

B, Norwegian A, B, C, Danish A-E, H, L, 
Swedish G, H, and Rancken's other copies. 

The drowning scene is the same in all the 
ballads, except as to one point. The younger 
sister, to save her life, offers or consents to 
renounce her lover in the larger number, as 
English B-E, G, H, I, M, P, Q, Danish A-D, 
F, G, I, Swedish A-D, G, H ; and in Icelandic 
B and " all the Faroe " ballads she finally 
yields, after first saying that her lover must 
dispose of himself. But Swedish F, with 
more spirit, makes the girl, after promising 
everything else, reply : 

' Help then who can, help God above ! 
But ne'er shalt thou get my dear true-love.' 

In this refusal concur Icelandic A, Danish 
E, H, L, and all the Norwegian versions ex 
cept L. 

Swedish A, G, and Rancken's versions (or 

J Swedish H begins, " Dear sister, come follow me to the 
clapping-stone : " " Nay, I have no foul clothes." So F 6, 7, 
G 4, 5, Faroe A 6, nearly ; and then follows the suggestion 
that they should wash themselves. Another of Rancken's 
copies begins, " Two sisters went to the bucking-stone, to buck 
their clothes snow-white," H ; and so Rancken's S nearly. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



121 



two of them) make the younger sister, when 
she sees that she must drown, send greetings 
to her father, mother, true-love [also brother, 
sister, Rancken] , and^ add in each case that 
she is drinking, or dancing, her bridal in the 
flood, that her bridal-bed is made on the white- 
sand, etc. 

The body of the drowned girl is discorered, 
in nearly all the English ballads, by some 
member of the miller's household, and is 
taken out of the water by the miller. In L b, 
which, however, is imperfect at the beginning, 
a harper finds the body. In the Icelandic bal 
lads it is found on the seashore by the lover ; 
in all the Norwegian but M by two fishermen, 
as also in Swedish D [fishermen in Swedish 
B] ; in all the Faroe versions and Norwegian 
M by two " pilgrims ; " * in Danish A-F, L, 
aud Swedish C by two musicians, Danish H, 
Swedish A, G, one. Danish G, which is cor 
rupted at the close, has three musicians, but 
these simply witness and report the drowning. 

According to all complete and uncorrupted 
forms of the ballad, either some part of the 
body of the drowned girl is taken to furnish 
a musical instrument, a harp or a viol,f or 
the instrument is wholly made from the body. 
This is done in the Norse ballads by those who 
first find the body, save in Swedish B, where 
fishermen draw the body ashore, and a passing 
" speleman " makes the instrument. In Eng 
lish it is done by the miller, A ; by a harper, 
B, C, G, L b (the Icing's harper in B) ; by a 
fiddler, D, E, I, L a (?), O, P (the king's 
fiddler, O (?), P) ; by both a fiddler and the 
king's harper, H ; in F by the father's herds 
man, who happens to be a fiddler. 

Perhaps the original conception was the 
simple and beautiful one which we find in 
English B and both the Icelandic ballads, that 

* There are, besides the two fishermen, in Norwegian A, 
two " twaddere," i. e., landloupers, possibly (Bugge) a cor 
ruption of the word rendered pilgrims, Faroe vallarar, Swed 
ish vallare. The vallarar in these ballads are perhaps more 
respectable than those whose acquaintance we shall make 
through the Norse versions of ' Babylon,' and may be al 
lowed to be harmless vagrants, but scarcely better, seeing 
that they are ranked with " staff-carls " in Norges Gamle 
Love, cited by Cleasby and Vigf usson at ' vallari.' 

t A harp in the Icelandic and Norwegian ballads, Faroe 
A, B, C, Swedish A, B, D, G, H ; a harp in English B, 
16 



the king's harper, or the girl's lover, takes 
three locks of her yellow hair to string his 
harp with. So we find three tets of hair in D, 
E, I, and three links in F, P, used, or directed 
to be used, to string the fiddle or the fiddle- 
bow, and the same, apparently, with Danish A. 
Infelicitous additions were, perhaps, succes 
sively made ; as a harp-frame from the breast 
bone in English C, and fiddle-pins formed of 
the finger-joints, English F, O, Danish B, C, 

E, F, L. Then we have all three : the frame 
of the instrument formed from the breast (or 
trunk), the screws from the finger-joints, the 
strings from the hair, Swedish A, B, G, Nor 
wegian A, C, M. And so one thing and another 
is added, or substituted, as fiddle-bows of the 
arms or legs, Swedish C, D, Danish H, Eng 
lish L a ; a harp-frame from the arms, Nor 
wegian B, Faroe A ; a fiddle-frame from the 
skull, Swedish C, or from the back-bone, Eng 
lish L b ; a plectrum from the arm, Faroe B ; 
strings from the veins, English A ; a bridge 
from the nose, English A, L a ; "h0rp0nota" 
from the teeth, Norwegian B ; till we end 
with the buffoonery of English A and L a. 

Swedish H has nothing about the finding 
of the body. Music is wanted for the bri 
dal, and a man from another village, who un 
dertakes to furnish it, looks three days for a 
proper tree to make a harp of. The singer 
of this version supplied the information, lost 
from the ballad, that the drowned sister had 
floated ashore and grown up into a linden, and 
that this was the very tree which was chosen 
for the harp. (See, further on, a Lithuanian, 
a Slovak, and an Esthonian ballad.) 

All the Norse ballads make the harp or fid 
dle to be taken to a wedding, which chances 
to be that of the elder sister with the drowned 
girl's betrothed.:): Unfortunately, many of the 

C, G, J. A harp is not named in any of the Danish ver 
sions, but a fiddle is mentioned in C, E, H, is plainly meant 
in A, and may always be intended ; or perhaps two fiddles in 
all but H (which has only one fiddler), and the corrupted G. 
D begins with two fiddlers, but concludes with only one. 
We have a fiddle in Swedish C, and in English A, D, E, 

F, I, J, K, L, O, P ; both harp and fiddle in H. 

J Some of the unprinted Norwegian ballads are not com 
pletely described, but a departure from the rule of the major 
part would probably have been alluded to. 



122 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



English versions are so injured towards the 
close that the full story cannot be made out. 
There is no wedding-feast preserved in any 
of them. The instrument, in A, B, C, H, is 
taken into the king's presence. The viol in 
A and the harp in H are expressly said to 
speak. The harp is laid upon a stone in C, 
J, and plays " its lone ; " the fiddle plays of 
itself in L b.* B makes the harper play, and 
D, F, K, O, which say the fiddle played, 
probably mean that there was a fiddler, and 
so perhaps with all the Norse versions ; but 
this is not very material, since in either case 
the instrument speaks " with most miraculous 
organ." 

There are three strings made from the girl's 
hair in Icelandic A, B, English B [veins, 
English A], and the three tets or links in 
English D, E, F, I, P were no doubt taken 
to make three strings originally. Correspond 
ing to this are three enunciations of the in 
strument in English A, B, C, Icelandic A, 
Faroe A,f B, Swedish A, B, C, B, Gr, H, 
Danish A, D, F, I. These are reduced to 
two in Icelandic B, Danish B, C, H, L, Swed 
ish D, and even to one in English D, F, I, 
K, O, but some of these have suffered injury 
towards the conclusion. The number is in 
creased to four in Norwegian B, to five in 
Norwegian A, D, and even to six in Norwegian 
C, K, M. The increase is, of course, a later 
exaggeration, and very detrimental to the 
effect. In those English copies in which the 
instrument speaks but once, J D, F, K, O, and 
we may add P, it expresses a desire for ven 
geance : Hang my sister, D, F, K ; Ye '11 
drown my sister, as she 's dune me, O ; Tell 
him to burn my sister, P. This is found in 
no Norse ballad, neither is it found in the 
earliest English versions. These, and the bet 
ter forms of the Norse, reveal the awful se 
cret, directly or indirectly, and, in the latter 
case, sometimes note the effect on the bride. 
Thus, in Icelandic B, the first string sounds, 



* The stanza, 9, in which this is said is no doubt as to its 
form entirely modern, but not so the idea. I has " the first 
spring that he playd, it said," etc. 

t The fourth string is said to speak in Faroe A 30, but 
no utterance is recorded, and this is likely to be a mistake. 



The bride is our sister ; the second, The bride 
is our murderer. In Danish B the first fiddle 
plays, The bride is my sister ; the second, The 
bridegroom is my true-love ; in C, H, the first 
strain is, The bride has drowned her sister, 
the second, Thy sister is driven [blown] to 
land. Faroe A, B, have : (1) The bride was 
my sister ; (2) The bride was my murderer ; 
(3) The bridegroom was my true-love. The 
bride then says that the harp disturbs her 
much, and that she lists to hear it no more. 
Most impressive of all, with its terse, short 
lines, is Icelandic A : 

The first string made response : 
' The bride was my sister once.' 

The bride on the bench, she spake : 
' The harp much trouble doth make.' 

The second string answered the other : 
' She is parting me and my lover.' 

Answered the bride, red as gore : 
' The harp is vexing us sore.' 

The canny third string replied : 
' I owe my death to the bride.' 

He made all the harp-strings clang ; 
The bride's heart burst with the pang. 

This is the wicked sister's end in both of 
the Icelandic ballads and in Faroe A, B. In 
Swedish A, G, at the first stroke on the harp 
she laughs ; at the second she grows pale [has 
to be undressed] ; upon the third she lay dead 
in her bed [falls dead on the floor]. She is 
burned in Danish A, B, C, F, Gr, Swedish B, 
Norwegian A, B, C, I, M. In Norwegian K, 
L, the younger sister (who is restored to life) 
begs that the elder may not be burned, but 
sent out of the country (cf. English B b c) ; 
nevertheless, she is buried alive in L, which 
is her fate also in E, and in other unprinted 
versions. A prose comment, upon Danish I 
has her stabbed by the bridegroom. 

In many of the versions, and in this, after the strings have 
spoken individually, they unite in a powerful but inarticu 
late concord. 

t I has lost the terminal stanzas. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



123 



Norwegian B 21 makes the bride, in her 
confusion at the revelations of the harp, ask 
the bridegroom to drive the fiddler out of the 
house. So far from complying, the bride 
groom orders him mead and wine, and the 
bride to the pile. In Norwegian C the bride 
treads on the harper's foot, then orders the 
playing to stop ; but the bridegroom springs 
from the table, and cries, Let the harp have its 
song out, pays no regard to the lady's alleging 
that she has so bad a head that she cannot bear 
it, and finally sends her to the pile. So, near 
ly, Norwegian A. In Danish A, C, D, H, L, 
vainly in the first two, the bride tries to hush 
the fiddler with a bribe. He endeavors to take 
back what he has said in D, L, declaring him 
self a drunken fool (the passage is borrowed 
from another ballad) : still in L, though suc 
cessful for the nonce, she comes to the stake 
and wheel some months after. In H the fid 
dler dashes the instrument against a stone, 
seemingly to earn his bribe, but this trait be 
longs to versions which take the turn of the 
Norwegian. In C 15 the bride springs from 
the table, and says, Give the fiddlers a trifle, 
and let them go. This explains the last 
stanza of English A (cf., Norwegian B 21) : 

Now pay the miller for his payne, 

And let him bee gone in the divel's name. 

Swedish F has an entirely perverted and 
feeble conclusion. " A good man " takes the 
younger sister from the water, carries her to 
his house, revives her, and nurses her till the 
morrow, and then restores her to her father, 
who asks why she is so pale, and why she 
had not come back with her sister. She ex 
plains that she had been pushed into the wa 
ter, " and we may thank this good man that 
I came home at all." The father tells the 
elder that she is a disgrace to her country, 
and condemns her to the " blue tower." But 
her sister intercedes, and a cheerful and hand 
some wedding follows. 

Swedish C and nearly all the Norwegian 

* Not M, and apparently not D, which ends : 

When he kissed the harp upon the mouth, his heart broke. 

t So the traitor John pushes away Catherine's hands in 



ballads* restore the drowned girl to life, but 
not by those processes of the Humane Society 
which are successfully adopted by the " arlig 
man " in Swedish F. The harp is dashed 
against a stone, or upon the floor, and the girl 
stands forth " as good as ever." As Landstad 
conceives the matter (484, note 7), the elder 
sister is a witch, and is in the end burned as 
such. The white body of the younger is made 
to take on the appearance of a crooked log, 
which the fishermen (who, by the way, are 
angels in C, B) innocently shape into a harp, 
and the music, vibrating from her hair 
" through all her limbs, marrow and bone," 
acts as a disenchantment. However this may 
be, the restoration of the younger sister, like 
all good endings foisted on tragedies, emas 
culates the story. 

English F 9 has the peculiarity, not noticed 
elsewhere, that the drowning girl catches at a 
broom-root, and the elder sister forces her to 
let go her hold.f In Swedish G she is simply 
said to swim to an alder-root. In English G 8 
the elder drives the younger from the land 
with a switch, in I 8 pushes her off with a sil 
ver wand. 

English O introduces the ghost of the drowned 
sister as instructing her father's fiddler to make 
a string of her hair and a peg of her little 
finger bone, which done, the first spring the 
fiddle plays, it says, 

'Ye '11 drown my sister as she 's dune me.' 

P, which is disordered at the end, seems to 
have agreed with O. In Q the ghost sends, 
by the medium of the miller and his daugh 
ter, respects to father, mother, and true-love, 
adding a lock of yellow hair for the last. The 
ghost is found in N, Pinkerton's copy, as 
well, but there appears to the lover at dead of 
night, two days after the drowning. It in 
forms him of the murder, and he makes search 
for the body. This is a wide departure from 
the original story, and plainly a modern per 
version. Another variation, entirely wanting 

' Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight,' Polish Q 25 (see p. 40). 
In the French versions A, C, E of the same, the knight 
catches at a branch to save himself, and the lady cuts it off 
with his sword. 



124 



1O. THE TWA SISTERS 



in ancient authority, appears in B, S. The 
girl is not dead when she has floated down 
to the mill-dam, and, being drawn out of the 
water by the miller, offers him a handsome 
reward to take her back to her father [S, 
to throw her in again ! J . The miller takes 
the reward, and pushes the girl in again, for 
which he is hanged.* 

Q has a burden partly Gaelic, 

.... ohone and aree (alack and O Lord), 
On the banks of tlhe Banna (White Kiver), 
ohone and aree, 

which may raise a question whether the Scotch 
burden Binnorie (pronounced Binnorie, as well 
as Binnorie) is corrupted from it, or the cor 
ruption is on the other side. Mr Campbell 
notices as quaint the reply in stanza 9 : 

* I did not put you in with the design 
Just for to pull you out again.' 

We have had a similar reply, made under like 
circumstances, in Polish versions of No 4 : see 
p. 40, note. 

All the Norse versions of this ballad are in 
two-line stanzas, and all the English, except 
L b and in part L a. 

Some of the traits of the English and Norse 
story are presented by an Esthonian ballad, 
'The Harp,' Neus, Ehstnische Volkslieder, No 
13, p. 56. Another version is given in Ro- 
senplanter's Beitrage zur genauern Kenntniss 
der ehstnischen Sprache, Heft 4, 142, and a 
third, says Neus, in Ch. H. J. Schlegel's Reisen 
in mehrere russische Gouvernements, V, 140. 
A young woman, who tells her own story, is 
murdered by her sisters-in-law and buried in 
a moor. She comes up as a birch, from which, 
with the jaw-bone of a salmon, the teeth of a 
pike, and her own hair (the account is some 
what confused) a harp is made. The harp is 
taken to the hall by the murdered girl's broth 
er, and responds to his playing with tones of 
sorrow like those of the bride who leaves fa 
ther and mother for the house of a husband.f 

* The miller begins to lose character in H : 
14 He dragged her out unto the shore, 

And stripped her of all she wore, 
t Neus also refers to an Esthonian saga of Rogutaja's 



A Slovak ballad often translated (Talvj, 
Historical View, etc., p. 392; Wenzig's Sla- 
wische Volkslieder, p. 110, Westslawischer 
Marchenschatz, 273, and Bibliothek Slavischer 
Poesien, p. 134 ; Lewestam, Polnische Volk- 
sagen und Marchen, p. 151) comes nearer in 
some respects. A daughter is cursed by her 
mother for not succeeding in drawing water in 
frosty weather. Her bucket turns to stone, 
but she to a maple. Two fiddlers come by, 
and, seeing a remarkably fine tree, propose to 
make of it fiddles and fiddle-sticks. When 
they cut into the tree, blood spirts out. The 
tree bids them go on, and when they have 
done, play before the mother's door, and sing, 
Here is your daughter, that you cursed to 
stone. At the first notes the mother runs 
to the window, and begs them to desist, for she 
has suffered much since she lost her daughter. 

The soul of a dead girl speaks through a tree, 
again, in a Lithuanian ballad, Nesselmann, 
Littauische Volkslieder, No 378, p. 320. The 
girl is drowned while attempting to cross a 
stream, carried down to the sea, and finally 
thrown ashore, where she grows up a linden. 
Her brother makes a pipe from a branch, and 
the pipe gives out sweet, sad tones. The 
mother says, That tone conies not from the 
linden ; it is thy sister's soul, that hovers over 
the water. A like idea is met with in another 
Lithuanian ballad, Rhesa, Dainos, ed. Kur- 
schat, No 85, p. 231. A sister plucks a bud 
from a rose-bush growing over the grave of 
her brother, who had died from disappointed 
love. How fragrant ! she exclaims. But her 
mother answers, with tears, It is not the rose 
bud, but the soul of the youth that died of 
grief. 

Though the range of the ballad proper is 
somewhat limited, popular tales equivalent as 
to the characteristic circumstances are very 
widely diffused. 

A Polish popular tale, which is, indeed, half 
song, Wojcicki, Klechdy, ed. 1851, n, 15 
(Lewestam, p. 105), Kolberg, Piesni ludu 

wife, and to ' Die Pfeiferin,' a tale, in Das Inland, 1846, No 
48, Beilage, col. 1246 ff, 1851, No 14, col. 230 ff; and to a 
Slovenian ballad in Tielemann, Livona, ein historisch-po- 
etisches Taschenbuch, 1812, p. 187. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



125 



Polskiego, p. 292, No 40 a, b, c, approaches 
very close to the English-Norse ballad. There 
were three sisters, all pretty, but the youngest 
far surpassing the others. A young man from 
the far-off Ukraine fell in with them while 
they were making garlands. The youngest 
pleased him best, and he chose her for his 
wife. This excited the jealousy of the eldest, 
and a few days after, when they were gather 
ing berries in a wood, she killed the youngest, 
notwithstanding the resistance of the second 
sister, buried her, and gave out that she had 
been torn to pieces by wolves. When the 
youth came to ask after his love, the mur 
deress told him this tale, and so won him by 
her devoted consolations that he offered her 
his hand. A willow grew out of the grave of 
the youngest, and a herdsman made a pipe 
from one of its boughs. Blow as he would, 
he could get no sound from the pipe but this : 

' Blow on, herdsman, blow ! God shall bless thee 

so. 
The eldest was my slayer, the second tried to stay 

her.' 

The herdsman took the pipe to the house of 
the murdered girl. The mother, the father, 
and the second sister successively tried it, 
and the pipe always sang a like song, Blow, 
mother, blow, etc. The father then put the 
pipe into the eldest sister's hands. She had 
hardly touched it, when blood spattered her 
cheeks, and the pipe sang : 

' Blow on, sister, blow : God shall wreak me now. 
Thou, sister, 't was didst slay me, the younger tried 
to stay thee,' etc. 

The murderess was torn by wild horses. 

Professor Bugge reports a Norwegian tale, 
Grundtvig, in, 878, which resembles the bal 
lad at the beginning. There were in a fam 
ily two daughters and a son. One sister was 
wasteful, the other saving. The second com 
plained of the first to her parents, and was 
killed and buried by the other. Foliage cov 
ered the grave, so that it could not be seen, 
but on the trees under which the body lay, 
there grew " strings." These the brother cut 
off and adapted to his fiddle, and when he 
played, the fiddle said, My sister is killed. 



The father, having heard the fiddle's revela 
tion, brought his daughter to confess her act. 

There is a series of tales which represent a 
king, or other personage, as being afflicted 
with a severe malady, and as promising that 
whichever of his children, commonly three 
sons, should bring him something necessary 
for his cure or comfort should be his heir: 
(1) ' La Flor del Lilila,' Fernan Caballero, 
Lagrimas, cap. 4 ; (2) ' La cana del riu de 
arenas,' Mila, Observaciones sobre la poesia 
popular, p. 178, No 3 ; (3) ' Es kommt doch 
einmal an den Tag,' Miillenhof, Sagen, u. s. 
w., p. 495, No 49 ; (4) ' Vom singenden Du- 
delsack,' Gonzenbach, Sicilianische Marchen, 
I, 329, No 51. Or the inheritance is promised 
to whichever of the children finds something 
lost, or rich and rare, a griffin's feather, a 
golden branch, a flower : (5) ' Die Greifen- 
feder,' Schneller, Marchen und Sagen aus 
Walschtirol, p. 143, No 51 ; (6) ' La Flauuto,' 
Blade", Contes et proverbes populaires re- 
cueillis en Armagnac, p. 3, No 1 ; (7) Wack- 
ernagel, in Haupt's Zeitschrift, in, 35, No 
3, = Das Todtebeindli,' Colshorn, C. u. 
Th., Marchen u. Sagen, p. 193, No 71, = Su- 
termeister, Kinder-u.-Hausmarchen aus der 
Schweiz, p. 119, No 39. Or a king promises 
his daughter to the man who shall capture a 
dangerous wild beast, and the exploit is un 
dertaken by three brothers [or two] : (8) 
' Der singende Knochen,' Grimms, K. u. H. 
marchen, I, 149, No 28 (1857); (9) 'Die 
drei Briider,' Curtze, Volksiiberlieferungen 
aus dem Furstenthum Waldeck, p. 53, No 
11 ; (10) 'Der Rohrstengel,' Haltrich, Deutsche 
Volksmarchen aus dem Sachsenlande, u. s. w., 
p. 225, No 42. With these we may group, 
though divergent in some respects, (11) ' Der 
goldene Apfel,' Toeppen, Aberglauben aus 
Masuren, p. 139.* In all these tales the young 
est child is successful, and is killed, out of 
envy, by the eldest or by the two elder. 
[There are only two children in (6), (7), 
(8) ; in (4) the second is innocent, as in the 
Polish tale.] Reeds grow over the spot where 
the body is buried (1), (2), (10), (11), or an 

* All these are cited in K6 bier's note, Gonzenbach, n, 
235. 



126 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



elder bush (3), out of which a herdsman makes 
a pipe or flute ; or a white bone is found by a 
herdsman, and he makes a pipe or horn of it 
(5-9) ; or a bag-pipe is made of the bones and 
skin of the murdered youth (4). The instru 
ment, whenever it is played, attests the mur 
der. 

Among the tales of the South African Bech- 
uana, there is one of a younger brother, who 
has been killed by an older, immediately ap 
pearing as a bird, and announcing what has oc 
curred. The bird is twice killed, and the last 
time burnt and its ashes scattered to the winds, 
but still reappears, and proclaims that his body 
lies by a spring in the desert. Grimms, K. 
u. H. m. Ill, 361. Liebrecht has noted that 
the fundamental idea is found in a Chinese 
drama, ' The Talking Dish,' said to be based 
on a popular tale. An innkeeper and his wife 



kill one of their guests for his money, and 
burn the body. The innkeeper collects the 
ashes and pounds the bones, and makes a sort 
of mortar and a dish. This dish speaks very 
distinctly, and denounces the murderers. Jour 
nal Asiatique, 1851, 4th Series, vol. 18, p. 
523. 

Danish A, B are translated by Prior, I, 381, 
384. English B, with use of C, is translated by 
Grundtvig, Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, 
p. 104, No 15 ; C, by Afzelius, m, 22. C, by 
Talvj, Versuch, u. s. w., p. 532; by Schubart, 
p. 133 ; by Gerhard, p. 143 ; by Doenniges, 
p. 81 ; Arndt, p. 238. C, with use of Ay- 
toun's compounded version, by R. Warrens, 
Schottische V. L. der Vorzeit, p. 65 ; Ailing- 
ham's version by Knortz, Lieder u. Romanzen 
Alt-Englands, p. 180. 



A 



A. a. Broadside "printed for Francis Grove, 1656," re 
printed in Notes and Queries, 1st S., v, 591. b. Wit Re- 
stor'd, 1658, "p. 51," p. 153 of the reprint of 1817. C. Wit 
and Drollery, ed. 1682, p. 87, = Dry den's Miscellany, Part 
3, p. 316, ed. 1716. d. Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i, 315. 

1 THERE were two sisters, they went playing, 

With a hie downe downe a downe-a 
To see their father's ships come sayling in. 
With a hy downe downe a downe-a 

2 And when they came unto the sea-brym, 
The elder did push the younger in. 

3 ' sister, sister, take me by the gowne, 
And drawe me up upon the dry ground.' 

4 ' O sister, O sister, that may not bee, 

Till salt and oatmeale grow both of a tree.' 

5 Somtymes she sanke, somtymes she swam, 
Until she came unto the mill-dam. 

6 The miller runne hastily downe the cliffe, 
And up he betook her withouten her life. 

7 What did he doe with her brest-bone ? 
He made him a violl to play thereupon. 



8 What did he doe with her fingers so small ? 
He made him peggs to his violl withall. 

9 What did he doe with her nose-ridge ? 
Unto his violl he made him a bridge. 

10 What did he doe with her veynes so blew ? 
He made him strings to bis violl thereto. 

11 What did he doe with her eyes so bright ? 
Upon his violl he played at first sight. 

12 What did he doe with her tongue so rough ? 
Unto the violl it spake enough. 

13 What did he doe with her two shinnes ? 
Unto the violl they danc'd Moll Syms. 

14 Then bespake the treble string, 

' O yonder is my father the king.' 

15 Then bespake tbe second string, 

' yonder sitts my mother the queen.' 

16 And then bespake the strings all three, 

' yonder is my sister that drowned mee.' 

17 ' Now pay the miller for his payne, 

And let him bee gone in the divel's name.' 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



B 



13 ' sister, sister, save my life, 

An I swear Ise never be nae man's wife.' 



a. Jamieson-Brown MS., fol. 39. b. Wm. Ty tier's Brown 
MS., No 15. c. Abbotsford MS., " Scottish Songs," fol. 21. 14 * oul fa the han that I should tacke, 



d. Jamieson's Popular Ballads, i, 48. 

1 THERE was twa sisters in a bowr, 

Edinburgh, Edinburgh 
There was twa sisters in a bowr, 

Stirling for ay 

There was twa sisters in a bowr, 
There came a knight to be their wooer. 

Bonny Saint Johnston stands upon Tay 

2 He courted the eldest wi glove an ring, 
But he lovd the youngest above a' thing. 

3 He courted the eldest wi brotch an knife, 
But lovd the youngest as his life. 

4 The eldest she was vexed sair, 
An much envi'd her sister fair. 

5 Into her bowr she could not rest, 
Wi grief an spite she almos brast. 

6 Upon a morning fair an clear, 
She cried upon her sister dear : 

7 ' O sister, come to yon sea stran, 

An see our father's ships come to Ian.' 

8 She 's taen her by the milk-white han, 
An led her down to yon sea stran. 

9 The younges[t] stood upon a stane, 
The eldest came an threw her in. 

10 She tooke her by the middle sma, 
An dashd her bonny back to the jaw. 

11 ' sister, sister, tak my han, 

An Ise mack you heir to a' my Ian. 

12 ' O sister, sister, tak my middle, 

An yes get my goud and my gouden girdle. 



It twin'd me an my wardles make. 

15 ' Your cherry cheeks an yallow hair 
Gars me gae maiden for evermair.' 

16 Sometimes she sank, an sometimes she swam, 
Till she came down yon bonny mill-dam. 

17 O out it came the miller's son, 
An saw the fair maid swimmin in. 

18 ' O father, father, draw your dam, 
Here 's either a mermaid or a swan.' 

19 The miller quickly drew the dam, 
An there he found a drownd woman. 

20 You coudna see her yallow hair 

For gold and pearle that were so rare. 

21 You coudna see her middle sma 

For gouden girdle that was sae braw. 

22 You coudna see her fingers white, 
For gouden rings that was sae gryte. 

23 An by there came a harper fine, 
That harped to the king at dine. 

24 When he did look that lady upon, 
He sighd and made a heavy moan. 

25 He 's taen three locks o her yallow hair, 
An wi them strung his harp sae fair. 

26 The first tune he did play and sing, 
Was, ' Farewell to my father the king.' 

27 The nextin tune that he playd syne, 
Was, ' Farewell to my mother the queen.' 

28 The lasten tune that he playd then, 
Was, ' Wae to my sister, fair Ellen.' 



128 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



Scott's Minstrelsy, 1802, u, 143. Compounded from B b 
and a fragment of fourteen stanzas transcribed from the 
recitation of an old woman by Miss Charlotte Brooke. 

1 THERE were two sisters sat in a hour ; 

Binnorie, Binnorie 
There came a knight to be their wooer. 
By the honny mill-dams of Binnorie 

2 He courted the eldest with glove and ring, 
But he loed the youngest aboon a' thing. 

3 He courted the eldest with broach and knife, 
But he loed the youngest aboon his life. 

4 The eldest she was vexed sair, 
And sore envied her sister fair. 

5 The eldest said to the youngest ane, 

' Will ye go and see our father's ships come 
in?' 

6 She 's taen her by the lilly hand, 
And led her down to the river strand. 

7 The youngest stude upon a stane, 
The eldest came and pushed her in. 

8 She took her by the middle sma, 

And dashed her bonnie back to the jaw. 

9 ' sister, sister, reach your hand, 
And ye shall be heir of half my land.' 

10 ' sister, I '11 not reach my hand, 
And I '11 be heir of all your land. 

11 ' Shame fa the hand that I should take, 
It 's twin'd me and my world's make.' 

12 ' O sister, reach me but your glove, 
And sweet William shall be your love.' 

13 ' Sink on, nor hope for hand or glove, 
And sweet William shall better be my love. 



14 ' Your cherry cheeks and your yellow hair 
Garrd me gang maiden evermair.' 

15 Sometimes she sunk, and sometimes she swam, 
Until she came to the miller's dam. 

16 ' O father, father, draw your dam, 

There 's either a mermaid or a milk-white 



17 The miller hasted and drew his dam, 
And there he found a drowned woman. 

18 You could not see her yellow hair, 

For gowd and pearls that were sae rare. 

19 You could na see her middle sma, 
Her gowden girdle was sae bra. 

20 A famous harper passing by, 

The sweet pale face he chanced to spy. 

21 And when he looked that ladye on, 
He sighed and made a heavy moan. 

22 He made a harp of her breast-bone, 
Whose sounds would melt a heart of stone. 

23 The strings he framed of her yellow hair, 
Whose notes made sad the listening ear. 

24 He brought it to her father's hall, 
And there was the court assembled all. 

25 He laid this harp upon a stone, 
And straight it began to play alone. 

26 ' yonder sits my father, the king, 
And yonder sits my mother, the queen. 

27 ' And yonder stands my brother Hugh, 
And by him my William, sweet and true.' 

28 But the last tune that the harp playd then, 
Was ' Woe to my sister, false Helen ! ' 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



129 



Kinloch's MSS, n, 49. From the recitation of Mrs Johii- 
ston, a North-country lady. 

1 THERE lived three sisters in a bouer, 

Edinbruch, Edinbruch 
There lived three sisters in a bouer, 

Stirling for aye 

There lived three sisters in a bouer, 
The youngest was the sweetest flowr. 

Bonnie St Johnston stands upon Tay 

2 There cam a knicht to see them a', 
And on the youngest his love did fa. 

3 He brought the eldest ring and glove, 
But the youngest was his ain true-love. 

4 He brought the second sheath and knife, 
But the youngest was to be his wife. 

5 The eldest sister said to the youngest ane, 

t Will ye go and see our father's ships come 
in?' 

6 And as they walked by the linn, 
The eldest dang the youngest in. 

7 ' O sister, sister, tak my hand, 
And ye '11 be heir to a' my land.' 



8 ' Foul fa the hand that I wad take, 
To twin me o my warld's make.' 

9 ' O sister, sister, tak my glove, 
And yese get Willie, my true-love.' 

10 ' Sister, sister, I '11 na tak your glove, 
For I '11 get Willie, your true-love.' 

11 Aye she swittert, and aye she swam, 
Till she cam to yon bonnie mill-dam. 

12 The miller's dochter cam out wi speed, 
It was for water, to bake her bread. 

13 ' O father, father, gae slack your dam ; 
There 's in 't a lady or a milk-white swan.' 

***** 

14 They could na see her coal-black eyes 
For her yellow locks hang oure her brees. 

15 They could na see her weel-made middle 
For her braid gowden girdle. 

***** 

16 And by there cam an auld blind fiddler, 

And took three tets o her bonnie yellow 

hair. 
***** 

17 The first spring that the bonnie fiddle playd, 
' Hang my cruel sister, Alison,' it said. 



E 

Sharpe's Ballad Book, No 10, p. 30. 

1 THERE livd twa sisters in a bower, 

Hey Edinbruch, how Edinbruch ! 
There lived twa sisters in a bower, 

Stirling for aye ! 
The youngest o them O she was a flower ! 

Bonny Sanct Johnstoune that stands upon 
Tay! 

2 There cam a squire frae the west, 

He loed them baith, but the youngest best. 

3 He gied the eldest a gay gold ring, 

But he loed the youngest aboon a' thing. 

4 ' O sister, sister, will ye go to the sea ? 
Our father's ships sail bonnilie.' 

17 



5 The youngest sat down upon a stane ; 
The eldest shot the youngest in. 

6 ' O sister, sister, lend me your hand, 
And you shall hae my gouden fan. 

7 ' sister, sister, save my life, 
And ye shall be the squire's wife.' 

8 First she sank, and then she swam, 
Untill she cam to Tweed mill-dam. 

9 The millar's daughter was baking bread, 
She went for water, as she had need. 

10 ' father, father, in our mill-dam 

There 's either a lady, or a milk-white swan.' 



130 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



11 They could nae see her fingers small, 
Wi diamond rings they were coverd all. 

12 They could nae see her yellow hair, 
Sae mony knots and platts were there. 



13 They could nae see her lilly feet, 
Her gowden fringes war sae deep. 

14 Bye there cam a fiddler fair, 

And he 's taen three taits o her yellow hair. 



Motherwell's MS., p. 383. From the recitation of Agnes 
Lyle, Kilbarchan, 27th July, 1825. 

1 THERE was two ladies livd in a hower, 

Hey with a gay and a grinding O 
The youngest o them was the fairest flower 
About a' the bonny bows o London. 

2 There was two ladies livd in a bower, 
An wooer unto the youngest did go. 

3 The oldest one to the youngest did say, 
' Will ye take a walk with me today, 

And we '11 view the bonny bows o Lon 
don. 

4 ' Thou '11 set thy foot whare I set mine, 
Thou '11 set thy foot upon this stane.' 

5 ' I '11 set my foot where thou sets thine : ' 
The old sister dang the youngest in, 

At, etc. 

6 ' sister dear, come tak my hand, 
Take my life safe to dry land,' 

At, etc. 

7 l It 's neer by my hand thy hand sail come in, 
It 's neer by my hand thy hand sail come in, 

At, etc. 

8 ' It 's thy cherry cheeks and thy white briest 

bane 
Gars me set a maid owre lang at hame.' 

9 She clasped her hand[s] about a brume rute, 
But her cruel sister she lowsed them out. 



10 Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam, 
Till she cam to the miller's dam. 

11 The miller's bairns has muckle need, 

They were bearing in water to bake some 
breid. 

12 Says, ' Father, dear father, in our mill-dam, 
It 's either a fair maid or a milk-white swan.' 

13 The miller he 's spared nae his hose nor his 

shoon 
Till he brocht this lady till dry land. 

14 I wad he saw na a bit o her feet, 
Her silver slippers were made so neat. 

15 I wad he saw na a bit o her skin, 
For ribbons there was mony a ane. 

16 He laid her on a brume buss to dry, 

To see wha was the first wad pass her by. 

17 Her ain father's herd was the first man 
That by this lady gay did gang. 

18 He 's taen three links of her yellow hair, 
And made it a string to his fiddle there. 

19 He 's cut her fingers long and small 
To be fiddle-pins that neer might fail. 

20 The very first spring that the fiddle did play, 
' Hang my auld sister,' I wad it did say. 

21 ' For she drowned me in yonder sea, 
God neer let her rest till she shall die,' 

At the bonny bows o London. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



131 



G 

Motherwell's MS., p. 104. From Mrs King, Kilbarchan. 

1 THERE were three sisters lived in a bouir, 

Hech, hey, my Nannie O 
And the youngest was the fairest flouir. 
And the swan swims bonnie O 

2 ' sister, sister, gang down to yon sand, 
And see your father's ships coming to dry 

land.' 

3 they have gane down to yonder sand, 

To see their father's ships coming to dry land. 

4 ' Gae set your fit on yonder stane, 
Till I tye up your silken goun.' 

5 She set her fit on yonder stane, 

And the auldest drave the youngest in. 

6 ' sister, sister, tak me by the hand, 
And ye '11 get a' my father's land. 



7 ' O sister, sister, tak me by the gluve, 
An ye '11 get Willy, my true luve.' 

8 She had a switch into her hand, 
And ay she drave her frae the land. 

9 O whiles she sunk, and whiles she swam, 
Until she swam to the miller's dam. 

10 The miller's daughter gade doun to Tweed, 
To carry water to bake her bread. 

11 ' father, father, what 's yon in the dam ? 
It 's either a maid or a milk-white swan.' 

12 They have tane her out till yonder thorn, 
And she has lain till Monday morn. 

13 She hadna, hadna twa days lain, 
Till by there came a harper fine. 

14 He made a harp o her breast-bane, 
That he might play forever thereon. 



Motherwell's MS., p. 147. From I. Goldie, March, 1825. 

1 THERE were three sisters lived in a hall, 

Hey with the gay and the grandeur O 
And there came a lord to court them all. 
At the bonnie bows o London town 

2 He courted the eldest with a penknife, 
And he vowed that he would take her life. 

3 He courted the youngest with a glove, 
And he said that he 'd be her true love. 

4 ' O sister, sister, will you go and take a walk, 
And see our father's ships how they float ? 

5 ' O lean your foot upon the stone, 
And wash your hand in that sea-foam.' 

6 She leaned her foot upon the stone, 

But her eldest sister has tumbled her down. 

7 ' O sister, sister, give me your hand, 
And I '11 make you lady of all my land.' 



8 ' I '11 not lend to you my hand, 
But I '11 be lady of your land.' 

9 ' sister, sister, give me your glove, 
And I '11 make you lady of my true love.' 

10 ' It 's I '11 not lend to you my glove, 
But I '11 be lady of your true love.' 

11 Sometimes she sank, and sometimes she swam, 
Until she came to a miller's dam. 

12 The miller's daughter was coming out wi 

speed, 
For water for to bake some bread. 

13 ' father, father, stop the dam, 

For it 's either a lady or a milk-white swan.' 

14 He dragged her out unto the shore, 
And stripped her of all she wore. 

15 By cam a fiddler, and he was fair, 

And he buskit his bow in her bonnie yellow 
hair. 



132 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



16 By cam her father's harper, and he was fine, 
And he made a harp o her bonny breast-bone. 

17 When they came to her father's court, 
The harp [and fiddle these words] spoke : 



18 ' God bless my father the king, 

And I wish the same to my mother the queen. 

19 ' My sister Jane she tumbled me in, 



Kinloch MSS, v, 425. From the recitation of M. Kin- 
near, 23d August, 1 826. 

1 THERE war twa sisters lived in a bouer, 

Binnorie and Binnorie 
There cam a squire to court them baith. 
At the bonnie mill-streams o Binnorie 



6 As they walked up the linn, 
The eldest dang the youngest in. 

7 ' O sister, sister, tak my hand, 

And ye '11 hae Lud John and aw his land.' 

8 With a silver wand she pushd her in, 



2 He courted the eldest with jewels and rings, 
But he lovd the youngest the best of all 

things. 

3 He courted the eldest with a penknife, 
He lovd the youngest as dear as his life. 

4 It fell ance upon a day 

That these twa sisters hae gane astray. 

5 It was for to meet their father's ships that had 



9 ' sister, sister, tak my glove, 
And ye sail hae my ain true love.' 

10 The miller's dochter cam out wi speed, 
It was for a water to bake her bread. 

11 ' O father, father, gae slack your dam ; 
There 's either a white fish or a swan.' 

***** 

12 Bye cam a blind fiddler that way, 

And he took three tets o her bonnie yellow hair. 

13 And the first spring that he playd, 

It said, ' It was my sister threw me in.' 



Notes and Queries, 4th S., v, 23, from the north of Ire 
land. 

1 THERE were two ladies playing ball, 

Hey, ho, my Nannie O 
A great lord came to court them all. 
The swan she does swim bonnie O 



2 He gave to the first a golden ring, 

He gave to the second a far better thing. 
***** 

3 He made a harp of her breast-bone 



4 He set it down upon a stone, 
And it began to play its lone. 



Mr G. R. Kinloch's papers, Kinloch MSS, n, 59. From 
Mrs Lindores. 

1 ' SISTER, sister, gie me your hand, 
Binnorie and Binnorie 



And I '11 give the half of my fallow-land, 
By the bonnie mill-dams of Binnorie.' 
***** 
2 The first time the bonnie fiddle played, 

' Hang my sister, Alison,' it said, 

1 At the bonnie mill-dams of Binnorie.' 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



133 



a. From oral tradition, Notes and Queries, 1st S., v, 316. 
b. The Scouring of the White Horse, p. 161. From North 
Wales. 

1 WAS it eke a pheasant cock, 

Or eke a pheasant hen, 
Or was it the bodye of a fair ladye, 
Come swimming down the stream ? 

2 it was not a pheasant cock, 

Nor eke a pheasant hen, 
But it was the bodye of a fair ladye 
Came swimming down the stream. 
***** 

3 And what did he do with her fair bodye ? 

Fal the lal the lal laral lody 
He made it a case for his melodye. 
Fal, etc. 



4 And what did he do with her legs so strong ? 
He made them a stand for his violon. 

5 And what did he do with her hair so fine ? 
He made of it strings for his violine. 

6 And what did he do with her arms so long ? 
He made them bows for his violon. 

7 And what did he do with her nose so thin ? 
He made it a bridge for his violin. 

8 And what did he do with her eyes so bright ? 
He made them spectacles to put to his sight. 

9 And what did he do with her petty toes ? 

He made them a nosegay to put to his 
nose. 



M 



Taken down from recitation at Old Deir, 1876, by Mrs 
A. F. Murison. MS., p. 79. 

1 THEBE lived twa sisters in yonder ha, 

Bindrie O an Bindrie 
They hadna but ae lad atween them twa, 
He 's the bonnie miller lad o Binorie. 

2 It fell oot upon a day, 

The auldest ane to the youngest did say, 
At the bonnie mill-dams o Bindrie, 

3 ' sister, sister, will ye go to the dams, 
To hear the blackbird thrashin oer his songs ? 

At the,' etc. 

4 ' O sister, O sister, will ye go to the dams, 

To see oor father's fish-boats come safe to dry 

Ian? 
An the bonnie miller lad o Binorie.' 

5 They hadna been an oor at the dams, 

Till they heard the blackbird thrashin oer his 

tune, 
At the, etc. 

6 They hadna been an oor at the dams 

Till they saw their father's fish-boats come safe 

to dry Ian, 
Bat they sawna the bonnie miller laddie. 



7 They stood baith up upon a stane, 

An the eldest ane dang the youngest in, 
I the, etc. 

8 She swam up, an she swam doon, 

An she swam back to her sister again, 
I the, etc. 

9 ' O sister, O sister, len me your han, 
An yes be heir to my true love, 

He 's the bonnie miller lad o Binorie.' 

10 ' It was not for that love at I dang you in, 
But ye was fair and I was din, 

And yes droon i the dams o Binorie.' 

11 The miller's daughter she cam oot, 
For water to wash her father's hans, 

Frae the, etc. 

12 ' father, father, ye will fish your dams, 
An ye '11 get a white fish or a swan, 

I the,' etc. 

13 They fished up and they fished doon, 

But they got nothing but a droonet woman, 
I the, etc. 

14 Some o them kent by her skin sae fair, 
But weel kent he by her bonnie yallow hair 

She 's the bonnie miller's lass o Binorie. 



134 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



15 Some o them kent by her goons o silk, 
But weel kent he by her middle sae jimp, 
She 's the bonnie miller's lass o Binorie. 



16 Mony ane was at her oot-takin, 

But mony ane mair at her green grave makin, 
At the bonny mill-dams o Binorie. 



N 



[Pinkerton's] Scottish Tragic Ballads, p. 72. 

1 THERE were twa sisters livd in a bouir, 

Binnorie, O Binnorie 
Their father was a baron of pouir. 
By the bonnie mildams of Binnorie 

2 The youngest was meek, and fair as the may 
Whan she springs in the east wi the gowden day. 

3 The eldest austerne as the winter cauld, 
Ferce was her saul, and her seiming was bauld. 

4 A gallant squire cam sweet Isabel to wooe ; 
Her sister had naething to luve I trow. 

5 But filld was she wi dolour and ire, 
To see that to her the comlie squire 

6 Preferd the debonair Isabel : 

Their hevin of luve of spyte was her hell. 

7 Till ae ein she to her sister can say, 

' Sweit sister, cum let us wauk and play.' 

8 They wauked up, and they wauked down, 
Sweit sang the birdis in the vallie loun. 

9 Whan they cam to the roaring lin, 
She drave unweiting Isabel in. 



10 ' O sister, sister, tak my hand, 
And ye sail hae my silver fan. 

11 ' sister, sister, tak my middle, 
And ye sail hae my gowden girdle.' 

12 Sumtimes she sank, sumtimes she swam, 
Till she cam to the miller's dam. 

13 The miller's dochtor was out that ein, 
And saw her rowing down the streim. 

14 ' O father deir, in your mil-dam 

There is either a lady or a milk-white swan ! ' 

15 Twa days were gane, whan to her deir 
Her wraith at deid of nicht cold appeir. 

16 ' My luve, my deir, how can ye sleip, 
Whan your Isabel lyes in the deip ! 

17 ' My deir, how can ye sleip hot pain 
Whan she by her cruel sister is slain ! ' 

18 Up raise he sune, in frichtfu mude : 

' Busk ye, my meiny, and seik the flude.' 

19 They socht her up and they socht her doun, 
And spyd at last her glisterin gown. 

20 They raisd her wi richt meikle care ; 

Pale was her cheik and grein was her hair. 



O 



a. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, n, 128. 
b. Traditional Ballad Airs, edited by W. Christie, i, 42. 

1 THERE were twa sisters in a bower, 

Hey wi the gay and the grinding 
And ae king's son has courted them baith. 
At the bonny bonny bows o London 

2 He courted the youngest wi broach and ring, 
He courted the eldest wi some other thing. 

3 It fell ance upon a day 

The eldest to the youngest did say, 



4 ' Will ye gae to yon Tweed mill-dam, 
And see our father's ships come to land ? ' 

5 They baith stood up upon a stane, 
The eldest dang the youngest in. 

6 She swimmed up, sae did she down, 
Till she came to the Tweed mill-dam. 

7 The miller's servant he came out, 
And saw the lady floating about. 

8 ' O master, master, set your mill, 
There is a fish, or a milk-white swan.' 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



135 



9 They could not ken her yellow hair, 

[For] the scales o gowd that were laid there. 

10 They could not ken her fingers sae white, 
The rings o gowd they were sae bright. 

11 They could not ken her middle sae jimp, 
The stays o gowd were so well laced. 

12 They could not ken her foot sae fair, 
The shoes o gowd they were so rare. 

13 Her father's fiddler he came by, 
Upstarted her ghaist before his eye. 



14 ' Ye '11 take a lock o my yellow hair, 

Ye '11 make a string to your fiddle there. 

15 ' Ye '11 take a lith o my little finger bane, 
And ye '11 make a pin to your fiddle then.' 

16 He 's taen a lock o her yellow hair, 
And made a string to his fiddle there. 

17 He 's taen a lith o her little finger bane, 
And he 's made a pin to his fiddle then. 

18 The firstahd spring the fiddle did play, 

Said, ' Ye '11 drown my sister, as she 's dune 
me.' 



a. Motherwell's MS., p. 245. b. MotherwelPs Minstrelsy, 
Appendix, p. xx, xx. 

1 THERE were twa ladies in a bower, 

Hey my bonnie Nannie O 
The old was black and the young ane fair. 
And the swan swims bonnie 

2 Once it happened on a day 

The auld ane to the young did say, 

3 The auld ane to the young did say, 

' Will you gae to the green and play ? ' 

4 ' sister, sister, I daurna gang, 
For fear I file my silver shoon.' 

5 It was not to the green they gaed, 
But it was to the water of Tweed. 

6 She bowed her back and she 's taen her on, 
And she 's tumbled her in Tweed mill-dam. 

7 ' O sister, O sister, O tak my hand, 
And I '11 mak you heir of a' my land.' 

8 ' O sister, O sister, I '11 no take your hand, 
And I '11 be heir of a' your land.' 



9 ' O sister, sister, O tak my thumb, 
And I '11 give you my true-love John.' 

10 ' O sister, sister, I '11 no tak your thumb, 
And I will get your true-love John.' 

11 Aye she swattered and aye she swam, 
Until she came to the mouth of the dam. 

12 The miller's daughter went out to Tweed, 
To get some water to bake her bread. 

13 In again she quickly ran : 

' Here 's a lady or a swan in our mill-dam.' 

14 Out went the miller and his man 
And took the lady out of the dam. 

15 They laid her on the brae to dry ; 
Her father's fiddler then rode by. 

16 When he this lady did come near, 
Her ghost to him then did appear. 

17 ' When you go to my father the king, 
You '11 tell him to burn my sister Jean. 

18 ' When you go to my father's gate, 

You '11 play a spring for fair Ellen's sake. 

19 ' You '11 tak three links of my yellow hair, 
And play a spring for evennair.' 



136 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



Q 

Copied Oct. 26, 1861, by J. F. Campbell, Esq., from a col 
lection made by Lady Caroline Murray ; traced by her to an 
old nurse, and beyond the beginning of this century. 

1 THERE dwelt twa sisters in a bower, 

Oh and ohone, and ohone and aree ! 
And the youngest she was the fairest flower. 
On the banks of the Banna, ohone and 
aree ! 

2 There cam a knight to court the twa, 
But on the youngest his love did fa. 

3 He courted the eldest with ring and wi glove, 
But he gave the youngest all his love. 

4 He courted the eldest with brooch and wi 

knife, 
But he loved the youngest as his life. 

5 ' sister, sister, will ye come to the stream, 
To see our father's ships come in ? ' 

6 The youngest stood upon a stane, 
Her sister came and pusht her in. 

7 ' sister, sister, come reach me your hand, 
And ye shall hae all our father's land. 



9 ' I did not put you in with the design 
Just for to pull you out again.' 

10 Some time she sank, some time she swam, 
Until she came to a miller's dam. 

11 The miller's daughter dwelt on the Tweed, 
She went for water to bake her bread. 

12 ' faither, faither, come drag me your dam, 
For there 's aither a lady in 't, or a milk-white 

swan.' 

13 The miller went, and he dragd his dam, 
And he brought her fair body to Ian. 

14 They couldna see her waist sae sma 
For the goud and silk about it a'. 

15 They couldna see her yallow hair 

For the pearls and jewels that were there. 

16 Then up and spak her ghaist sae green, 
1 Do ye no ken the king's dochter Jean ? 

17 ' Tak my respects to my father the king, 
And likewise to my mother the queen. 



18 ' Tak my respects to my true love William, 

Tell him I deid for the love of him. 
8 ' sister, sister, come reach me your glove, 

And you shall hae William to be your true 19 ' Carry him a lock of my yallow hair, 
love.' To bind his heart for evermair.' 



R 



a. Notes and Queries, 1st S., vi, 102, from Lancashire. 
b. Written down for J. F. Campbell, Esq., Nov. 7, 1861, at 
Wishaw House, Lancashire, by Lady Louisa Primrose, c. 
1 The Scouring of the White Horse/ p. 158, from Berk 
shire, as heard by Mr Hughes from his father. 

1 THERE was a king of the north countree, 

Bow down, bow down, bow down 
There was a king of the north countree, 
And he had daughters one, two, three. 

I '11 be true to my love, and my love '11 be 
true to me 

2 To the eldest he gave a beaver hat, 

And the youngest she thought much of that. 



3 To the youngest he gave a gay gold chain, 
And the eldest she thought much of the same. 

4 These sisters were walking on the bryn, 
And the elder pushed the younger -in. 

5 ' Oh sister, oh sister, oh lend me your hand, 
And I will give you both houses and land.' 

6 ' I '11 neither give you my hand nor glove, 
Unless you give me your true love.' 

7 Away she sank, away she swam, 
Until she came to a miller's dam. 

8 The miller and daughter stood at the door, 
And watched her floating down the shore. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



137 



9 ' Oh father, oh father, I see a white swan, 
Or else it is a fair woman.' 

10 The miller he took up his long crook, 

And the maiden up from the stream he took. 

11 ' I '11 give to thee this gay gold chain, 

If you '11 take me back to my father again.' 



12 The miller he took the gay gold chain, 
And he pushed her into the water again. 

13 The miller was hanged on his high gate 
For drowning our poor sister Kate. 

14 The cat 's behind the buttery shelf, 

If you want any more, you may sing it your 
self. 



s 

Kinloch MSS, vi, 89, in Kinloch's hand. 

' O FATHER, father, swims a swan,' 

This story I '11 vent to thee 

' O father, father, swims a swan, 

Unless it be some dead woman.' 

I '11 prove true to my true love, 

If my love prove true to me 



2 The miller he held out his long fish hook, 
And hooked this fair maid from the brook. 

3 She offered the miller a gold ring stane 
To throw her into the river again. 

4 Down she sunk, and away she swam, 
Until she came to her father's brook. 

5 The miller was hung at his mill-gate, 
For drowning of my sister Kate. 



AUingham's Ballad Book, p. xxxiii. From Ireland. 
' SISTER, dear sister, where shall we go play ? ' 



Cold blows the wind, and the wind blows 

low 
' We shall go to the salt sea's brim.' 

And the wind blows cheerily around us, high 

ho 



U 



Communicated by Mr W. W. Newell, as repeated by an 
ignorant woman in her dotage, who learned it at Hunting- 
ton, Long Island, N. Y. 

1 THERE was a man lived in the mist, 

Bow down, bow down 
He loved his youngest daughter best. 
The bow is bent to me, 
So you be true to your own true love, 
And I '11 be true to thee. 



2 These two sisters went out to swim ; 
The oldest pushed the youngest in. 

3 First she sank and then she swam, 
First she sank and then she swam. 

4 The miller, with his rake and hook, 
He caught her by the petticoat. 



A. b. I 1 , went a-playing. 
Burden*, a downe-o. 
c. I 1 , went a-playing. 

Burden l< *. With a hey down, down, a down, 
down-a. 

18 



4 2 . Till oat-meal and salt grow both on a 

tree. 

6 1 . ran hastily down the clift. 
6 a . And up he took her without any life. 
13 2 . Moll Symns. 



138 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



14 l , 15 1 . Then he bespake. 
17 2 . And let him go i the devil's name. 
d. I 1 , went a-playing. I 2 , ships sailing in. 
2 1 . into. 
3 2 . me up on. 
6 2 . withouten life. 

B. a. 26, 27, 28. An it has been written in as a 
conjectural emendation by Jamieson, he did it 

play, [ playd ; and it is adopted by Jamie- 
he ) 

son in his printed copy : see below, d 26, 27, 28. 
b. The first stanza only, agreeing with a 1, is 
given by Anderson, Nichols's Illustrations, 
vn, 178. 

o. Evidently a copy of Mrs Brown's version, 
and in Scott's MS. it has the air, as all the 
Tytler-Brown ballads had. Still it has but 
twenty-three stanzas, whereas Dr Anderson 
gives fifty-eight lines as the extent of the Tyt 
ler-Brown copy of 'The Cruel Sister ' (Nichols, 
Illus. Lit. Hist., vn, 178). This, counting 
the first stanza, with the burden, as four lines, 
according to the arrangement in Scott's MS., 
would tally exactly with the Jamieson-Brown 
MS., B a. 

It would seem that B c had been altered by 
somebody in order to remove the absurd com 
bination of sea and mill-dam ; the invitation 
to go see the ships come to land, B a 7, is 
omitted, and " the deep mill-dam " substituted, 
in 8, for " yon sea-stran." Stanza 17 of c, 
" They raisd her," etc., cited below, occurs in 
Pinkerton, N 20, and is more likely to be his 
than anybody's. 

2 1 . brooch and ring. 2 2 . abune a' thing. 

3 1 . wooed . . . with glove and knife. 

3 2 . looed the second. 
5 2 . she well nigh brist. 
7. wanting. 

8 2 . led her to the deep mill-dam. 

9 2 . Her cruel sister pushd her in. 

II 2 . And Ise mak ye. 

12. wanting. 

14 1 . Shame fa the hand that I shall tak. 

15 1 . gowden hair. 15 2 . gar . . . maiden 

ever mair. 
16. wanting. 
17 1 . Then out and cam. 17 2 . swimming 

down. 

18 1 . O father, haste and draw. 
19 1 . his dam. 19 2 . And then. (?) 
Instead 0/20-22 : 



They raisd her wi meikle dule and care, 
Pale was her cheek and green was her hair. 

24 1 . that corpse upon. 

25 2 . he 's strung. 

26 1 , 27 1 , 28 1 , for tune, line, if the copy be 
right. 

27 1 . The next. 28 1 . The last. 28 2 . fause 
Ellen. 

" Note by Ritson. ' The fragment of a very 
different copy of this ballad has been com 
municated to J. R. by a friend at Dub 
lin.' " \J. C. Walker, no doubt.~\ 
d. Jamieson, Popular Ballads and Songs, I, 
48, says that he gives his text verbatim as it 
was taken from the recitation of the lady in 
Fifeshire (Mrs Brown), to whom both he and 
Scott were so much indebted. That this is 
not to be understood with absolute strictness 
will appear from the variations which are sub 
joined. Jamieson adds that he had received 
another copy from MrsArrott of Aberbrothick, 
" but as it furnished no readings by which the 
text could have been materially improved," it 
was not used. Both Jamieson and Scott sub 
stitute the " Binnorie " burden, " the most com 
mon and popular," says Scott, for the one given 
by Mrs Brown, with which Mrs Arrott's 
agreed. It may be added that Jamieson' s in 
terpolations are stanzas 20, 21, 27, etc., and 
not, as he says (i, 49), 19, 20, 27, etc. These 
interpolations also occur as such in the rnanu*- 
script. 

I 1 , sisters livd. 

2 2 . aboon. 

3 2 . he loved. 

4 2 . and sair envied. 

5 1 . Intill her bower she coudna. 

5 2 . maistly brast. 
II 2 . mak ye. 
14 2 . me o. 

16 1 . omits an. 

16 2 . came to the mouth o yon mill-dam. 
18 2 . There 's. 

20 2 . that was. 
22 2 . that were. 
26 1 . it did. 
27 1 . it playd seen. 
28 1 . thirden tune that it. 
A copy in Motherwell's MS., p. 239, is de 
rived from Jamieson's printed edition. It 
omits the interpolated stanzas, and makes a 
few very slight changes. 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



139 



C. Scott's account of his edition is as folloivs (ii t 
143, later ed., in, 287) : 

" It is compiled from a copy in Mrs Brown's 
MS., intermixed with a beautiful fragment, 
of fourteen verses, transmitted to the editor 
by J. C. Walker, Esq., the ingenious his 
torian of the Irish bards. Mr Walker, at 
the same time, favored the editor with the 
following note : ' I am indebted to my de 
parted friend, Miss Brooke, for the foregoing 
pathetic fragment. Her account of it was as 
follows : This song was transcribed, several 
years ago, from the memory of an old woman, 
who had no recollection of the concluding 
verses ; probably the beginning may also be 
lost, as it seems to commence abruptly.' The 
first verse and burden of the fragment run 
thus : 

" ' sister, sister, reach thy hand ! 

Hey ho, my Nanny, O 
And you shall be heir of all my land. 

While the swan swims bonny, ' ' 



Out of this stanza, or the corresponding 
one in Mrs Brown's copy, Scott seems to 
have made his 9, 10. 

" My mother used to sing this song." Sharpe's 
BaUad Book, ed. of 1880, note, p. 129. 
2 2 . An wooer. 

2 1 . strand, with sand written above : sand in 3 1 . 
I 2 , var. in MS. There was a knicht and he 

loved them bath. 

7. The following stanza was subsequently writ 
ten on an opposite blank page, perhaps de 
rived from D 8 : 



E. 

F. 
G. 
I. 



K. 



L. 



Foul fa the hand that I wad take, 
To twin me and my warld's make. 

10 2 . a was, perhaps, meant to be expunged, 

but is only a little blotted. 
II 2 . var. a lady or a milk-white swan. 
12, 13 were written in later than the rest ; at 

the same time, apparently, as the stanza 

above (7). 

Found among Mr Kinloch's papers by Mr 
Macmath, and inserted by him as a note on 
p. 59, vol. n, of Kinloch's MSS. The order 
of the stanzas is there, wrongly, inverted. 
I 2 , var. I wad give you. 

a. These fragments were communicated to 
Notes and Queries, April 3, 1852, by " G. A. 



C.," who had heard 'The Miller's Melody' 
sung by an old lady in his childhood, and who 
represents himself as probably the last sur 
vivor of those who had enjoyed the privilege 
of listening to her ballads. We may, there 
fore, assign this version to the latter part of 
the 18th century. The two four-line stanzas 
were sung to " a slow, quaint strain." Two 
others which followed were not remembered, 
" but their purport was that the body ' stopped 
hard by a miller's mill,' and that this ' mil 
ler chanced to come by,' and took it out of 
the water 'to make a melody e.' " G. A. C. 
goes on to say : " My venerable friend's tune 
here became a more lively one, and the time 
quicker ; but I can only recollect a few of the 
couplets, and these not correctly nor in order 
of sequence, in which the transformation of 
the lady into a viol is described." 
b. Some stanzas of this four-line version, with 
a ludicrous modern supplement, are given in 
' The Scouring of the White Horse,' p. 161, as 
from the Welsh marshes. Five out of the first 
six verses are there said to be very old indeed, 
" the rest all patchwork by different hands." 
Mr Hughes has kindly informed me that he 
derived the ballad from his father, who had 
originally learned it at Ruthyn when a boy. 
What is material here follows : 

1 it was not a pheasant cock, 

Nor yet a pheasant hen, 
But O it was a lady fair 

Came swimming down the stream. 

2 An ancient harper passing by 

Found this poor lady's body, 
To which his pains he did apply 
To make a sweet melody. 

3 To cat-gut dried he her inside, 

He drew out her back-bone, 
And made thereof a fiddle sweet 
All for to play upon. 

4 And all her hair, so long and fair, 

That down her back did flow, 
he did lay it up with care, 
To string his fiddle bow. 

5 And what did he with her fingers, 

Which were so straight and small ? 



140 



10. THE TWA SISTERS 



O he did cut them into pegs, 
To screw up his fiddoll. 

6 Then forth went he, as it might be, 

Upon a summer's day, 
And met a goodly company, 
Who asked him in to play. 

7 Then from her bones he drew such tones 

As made their bones to ache, 
They sounded so like human groans 
Their hearts began to quake. 

8 They ordered him in ale to swim, 

For sorrow 'B mighty dry, 
And he to share their wassail fare 
Essayd right willingly. 

9 He laid his fiddle on a shelf 

In that old manor-hall, 
It played and sung all by itself, 
And thus sung this fiddoll : 

10 ' There sits the squire, my worthy sire, 
A-drinking hisself drunk,' etc., etc. 

N. Pinkerton tells us, in the Preface to his An 
cient Scottish Poems, p. cxxxi, that " Binnorie 
is one half from tradition, one half by the ed 
itor." One fourth and three fourths would 
have been a more exact apportionment. The 
remainder of his text, which is wholly of his 
invention, is as follows : 

' Gae saddle to me my swiftest steid ; 

Her fere, by my fae, for her dethe sail bleid.' 

A page cam rinning out owr the lie : 

' O heavie tydings I bring,' quoth he. 

' My luvely lady is far awa gane ; 

We weit the fairy hae her tane. 

Her sister gaed wood wi dnle and rage ; 

Nocht cold we do her mind to suage. 

" O Isabel, my sister/' she wold cry, 

" For thee will I weip, for thee will I die." 

Till late yestrene, in an elric hour, 

She lap frae aft the hichest touir.' 

' Now sleip she in peace,' quoth the gallant squire ; 

' Her dethe was the maist that I cold require. 

But I '11 main for the, my Isabel deir, 

Full mony a dreiry day, bot weir.' 

20. This stanza occurs also in B c (17), and 
was perhaps borrowed from Pinkerton by 
the reviser of that copy. 

O. a. Buchan's note, n, 320 : " I have seen four 
or five different versions of this ballad, but 
none in this dress, nor with the same chorus. . . 
The old woman from whose recitation I took it 



down says she had heard another way of it, quite 
local, whose burden runs thus : 

' Ever into Buchanshire, vari vari O.' " 

I 2 , hae courted. 

b. Mr Christie has "epitomized" Buchan's 
copy (omitting stanzas 9-12), with these few 
slight alterations from the singing of a Banff- 
shire woman, who died in 1860, at the age of 
nearly eighty : 
Burden : It 's hey, etc. 
2 2 . And he courted the eldest wi mony other 

thing. 

3 1 . But it fell. 
5 2 . And the eldest. 
P. b. This stanza only : 

There livd twa sisters in a bower, 
Hey my bonnie Annie O 

There cam a lover them to woo. 
And the swan swims bonnie O, 
And the swan swims bonnie 

Q. The burden is given thus in Pop. Tales of the 
West Highlands, IV, 125 : 

Oh ochone, ochone a rie, 

On the banks of the Banna, ochone a rie. 

R. a. The title ' The Three Sisters,' and perhaps 
the first stanza, belongs rather to No 1 A, B, 
p. 3f. 
b. 1. A farmer there lived in the north coun- 

tree, 

Bo down 

And he had daughters one, two, three. 
And I '11 be true unto my love, if he '11 
be true unto me 

(The burden is given as Bo down, bo down, 
etc., in Popular Tales of the West High 
lands, iv, 125.) 

Between 1 and 2 b has : 

The eldest she had a lover come, 

And he fell in love with the younger one. 

He bought the younger a ... 

The elder she thought . . . 
3. wanting. 

4 1 . The sisters they walkt by the river brim. 
6 2 . my true love. 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



141 



8. The miller's daughter was at the door, 
As sweet as any gillyflower. 

9. O father, O father, there swims a swain, 
And he looks like a gentleman. 

10. The miller he fetcht his line and hook, 

And he fisht the fair maiden out of the 
hrook. 

II 1 . O miller, I'll give you guineas ten, 

12. The miller he took her guineas ten, 
And then he popt her in again. 

13 1 . . . . behind his back gate, 
2 . the farmer's daughter Kate. 

Instead of 14 : 

The sister she sailed over the sea, 

And died an old maid of a hundred and three. 

The lover became a beggar man, 
And he drank out of a rusty tin can. 

b 8, 11, 12, 14, 15 are cited in Popular Tales 
of the West Highlands, iv, 127. 

c. 1. A varmer he lived in the west countree, 

Hey-down, bow-down 
A varmer he lived in the west countree, 
And he had daughters one, two, and dree. 
And I '11 be true to my love. 
If my love '11 be true to me. 



S. 
T. 



2, 3. wanting. 

4 1 . As thay wur walking by the river's brim. 

5 1 . pray gee me thy hand. 

7 1 . So down she sank and away she swam. 

8. The miller's daughter stood by the door, 
As fair as any gilly-flower. 

9. here swims a swan, 

Very much like a drownded gentlewoman. 

10. The miller he fot his pole and hook, 

And he fished the fair maid out of the 

brook. 

II 1 . O miller, I '11 gee thee guineas ten. 
12 a . pushed the fair maid in again. 
Between 12 and 13 o has, 

But the crowner he cum and the justice 

too, 
With a hue and a cry and a hullaballoo. 

They hanged the miller beside his own 

gate 
For drowning the varmer's daughter, Kate. 

Instead of 14 : 

The sister, she fled beyond the seas, 

And died an old maid among black savagees. 

So I 've ended my tale of the west coun 
tree, 
And they calls it the Barkshire Tragedee. 

l a . MS. Or less (?). 

" Sung to a peculiar and beautiful air." Al- 
lingham, p. xxxiii. 



11 

THE CRUEL BROTHER 

A. [The] Cruel Brother, or the Bride's Testament.' F. ' The Three Knights,' Gilbert's Ancient Christmas 
a. Alex. Fraser Tytler's Brown MS. b. Jamieson's Carols, 2d ed., p. 68. 

Popular Ballads, I, 66. 

G. Fine Flowers of the Valley.' a. Herd's MSS, i, 

B. The Kinloch MSS, I, 21. 41. b. Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, i, 88. 

C. 'Ther waur three ladies,' Harris MS., p. lib. H. Fragment appended to G. 

D. a. Notes and Queries, 1st S., vi, 53. b. 2d S.. v, I. The Kinloch MSS, i, 27. 
171. 

J. As current in County Meath, Ireland, about 1860. 

E. Notes and .Queries, 4th S., v, 105. 

K. Notes and Queries, 4th S., iv, 517. 



142 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



A a was obtained directly from Mrs Brown 
of Falkland, in 1800, by Alexander Fraser 
Tytler. Jamieson says that he gives b ver 
batim from the recitation of Mrs Arrott ; but 
it would seem that this must have been a slip 
of memory, for the two agree except in half a 
dozen words. B, C, I, J are now for the first 
time printed. G only was taken down earlier 
than the present century. 

Aytoun remarks (1858) : " This is, per 
haps, the most popular of- all the Scottish bal 
lads, being commonly recited and sung even at 
the present day." The copy which he gives, 
I, 232, was "taken down fiom recitation," 
but is nevertheless a compound of G and A b, 
with a few unimportant variations, proceed 
ing, no doubt, from imperfect recollection.* 
The copy in Dixon's Ancient Poems, Ballads, 
and Songs, p. 56, repeated in Bell's volume 
of the same title, p. 50, is Gilbert's P. Dixon 
informs us that the ballad was (in 1846) still 
popular amongst the peasantry in the west of 
England. Cunningham gives us a piece called 
' The Three Ladies of Leithan Ha,' Songs of 
Scotland, n, 87, which he would fain have us 
believe that he did not know he had written 
himself. " The common copies of this tragic 
lyric," he truly says, " differ very much from 
this ; not so much in the story itself as in the 
way it is told." 

All versions but K, which has pretty nearly 
lost all point, agree after the opening stanzas. 
A-E have three ladies and only one knight ; 
F has three knights and one lady ; G, I, J, K 
have three ladies and three knights [lords in 
G, " bonny boys " in I, the first line being 
caught from ' Sir Hugh.'] Three knights are 
to no purpose ; only one knight has anything 
to do. The reason for three ladies is, of 
course, that the youngest may be preferred to 
the others, an intention somewhat obscured 
in B. The ladies are in colors in B, C, I, J, 
and this seems to be the better interpretation 
in the case of G, though a strict construction 
of the language would rather point to the 
other. The colors are transferred to the 

* Aytoun, 1-8 = Herd, 1776, 1-8: 9-13 = Jamieson, 11- 
15: 14, 15= Herd, 11,12: 16, 17 = Jamieson, 18, 19 : 18, 
19 = Herd, 13, 14 : 20-24 = Jamieson, 21-25. 



knights in P because there is only one lady. 
In K this is a part of the general depravation 
of the ballad. 

' Rizzardo bello,' Wolf, Volkslieder aus Ve- 
netien, No 83, seems to be the same story, with 
a change of relations such as we often find 
in ballad poetry. Rizzardo is conducting his 
bride home, and on the way embraces and 
kisses her. Her brother witnesses " questo 
onore," and thrusts his sword into the happy 
bridegroom's heart. Rizzardo tells bis bride 
to come on slowly ; he will go before to make 
preparation. He begs his mother to open the 
doors, for his bride is without, and he is 
wounded to death. They try to make the 
bride eat. She says she can neither eat nor 
drink : she must put her husband to bed. He 
gives her a ring, saying, Your brother has 
been the death of me ; then another ring, in 
sign that she is to be wife of two brothers. 
She answers him as Guldborg answers Ribold, 
that she would die rather : " Rather die be 
tween two knives than be wife of two broth 
ers." This ballad was obtained from a peas 
ant woman of Castagnero. Another version, 
which unfortunately is not printed, was sung 
by a woman at Ostiglia on the Po. 

Dr Prior remarks that the offence given by 
not asking a brother's assent to his sister's 
marriage was in ballad : times regarded as un 
pardonable. Other cases which show the im 
portance of this preliminary, and the some 
times fatal consequences of omitting it, are : 
' Hr. Peder og Mettelille,' Grundtvig, No 78, 
II, 325, sts 4, 6 ; ' Jomfruen i Skoven,' Danske 
Viser, m, 99, st. 15 ; ' Jomfru Ellensborg og 
Hr. Olof,' ib., m, 316, st. 16 ; ' Iver Lang og 
hans S0ster,' ib., iv, 87, st. 116 ; ' Herr Helmer 
Blaa,' ib., iv, 251, st. 8 ; ' Jomfru Giselmaar,' 
ib., iv, 309, st. 13. See Prior's Ancient Dan 
ish Ballads, m, 112, 232 f, 416. 

There is a very common German ballad, 
' Graf Friedrich,' in which a bride receives a 
mortal wound during the bringing-home, but 
accidentally, and from the bridegroom's hand. 
The marriage train is going up a hill ; the way 
is narrow ; they are crowded ; Graf Friedrich's 
sword shoots from its sheath and wounds the 
bride. The bridegroom is exceedingly dis- 



11. THE CEUEL BROTHER 



143 



tressed ; he tries to stop the bleeding with his 
shirt ; she begs that they may ride slowly. 
When they reach the house there is a splendid 
feast, and everything is set before the bride ; 
but she can neither eat nor drink, and only 
wishes to lie down. She dies in the night. 
Her father comes in the morning, and, learn 
ing what has happened, runs Graf Friedrich 
through, then drags his body at a horse's heels, 
and buries it in a bog. Three lilies sprang 
from the spot, with an inscription announcing 
that Graf Friedrich was in heaven, and a voice 
came from the sky commanding that the body 
should be disinterred. The bridegroom was 
then buried with his bride, and this act of 
reparation was attended with other miracu 
lous manifestations. As the ballads stand 
now, the kinship of ' Graf Friedrich ' with 
' The Cruel Brother ' is not close and cannot 
be insisted on ; still an early connection is not 
improbable. 

The versions of ' Graf Friedrich ' are some 
what numerous, and there is a general agree 
ment as to all essentials. They are : A, a 
Nuremberg broadside " of about 1535," which 
has not been made accessible by a reprint. 
B, a Swiss broadside of 1647, without place, 
*' printed in Seckendorf's Musenalmanach fur 
1808, p. 19 ; " Uhland, No 122, p. 277 ; Mit- 
tler, No 108 ; Wunderhorn, II, 293 (1857) ; 
Erk's Liederhort, No 15% p. 42 ; Bohme, No 
79, p. 166: also, in Wunderhorn, 1808, II, 
289, with omission of five stanzas and with 
many changes ; Simrock, No 11, p. 28, omit 
ting four stanzas and with changes ; as writ 
ten down by Goethe for Herder, Diintzer u. 
Herder, Briefe Goethes, u. s. w., Aus Herder's 
Nachlass, I, 167, with the omission of eight 
stanzas and with some variations. C, Wun 
derhorn (1857), n, 299, from the Schwarz- 
wald, = Erlach, iv, 291, Mittler, No 113. 
D, Taschenbuch fur Dichter, u. s. w., Theil 
Vin, 122, from Upper Lusatia, = Erlach, in, 
448, Talvj, Charakteristik, p. 421. B, from 
the Kuhlandchen, Meinert, p. 23, = Mittler, 
No 109. F, Hoffmann u. Richter, Schlesische 
V. L., No 19, p. 35, = Mittler, No 112, Erk's 
Liederhort, No 15, p. 40. G, Zingerle, in 
Wolf's Zeitschrift fur deutsche Mythologie, 



I, 341, from Meran. H, from Uckermark, 
Brandenburg, Mittler, No 114. I, Hesse, from 
oral tradition, Mittler, No 111. J, Erk u. 
Irmer, n, 54, No 54, from the neighborhood 
of Halle, = Mittler, No 110. K, from Estedt, 
district of Magdeburg, Parisius, p. 31, No 9. 

A Danish ballad, ' Den saarede Jomfru,' 
Grundtvig, No 244, IV, 474, has this slight 
resemblance with ' Graf Friedrich : ' While a 
knight is dancing with a princess, his sword 
glides from the scabbard and cuts her hand. 
To save her partner from blame, she repre 
sents to her father that she had cut herself 
with her brother's sword. This considerate- 
ness so touches the knight (who is, of course, 
her equal in rank) that he offers her his hand. 
The Danish story is found also in Norwegian 
and in Faroe ballads. 

The peculiar testament made by the bride 
in ' The Cruel Brother,' by which she be 
queaths good things to her friends, but ill 
things to the author of her death, is highly 
characteristic of ballad poetry. It will be 
found again in ' Lord Ronald,' ' Edward,' and 
their analogues. Still other ballads with this 
kind of testament are : ' Frillens Haevn,' 
Grundtvig, No 208 C, 16-18, iv, 207; a 
young man, stabbed by his leman, whom he 
was about to give up in order to marry, leaves 
his lands to his father, his bride-bed to his 
sister, his gilded couch to his mother, and his 
knife to his leman, wishing it in her body. 
* M0en paa Baalet,' Grundtvig, No 109 A, 18- 
21, II, 587 ; Ole, falsely accused by her brother, 
and condemned to be burned, gives her mother 
her silken sark, her sister her shoes, her father 
her horse, and her brother her knife, with the 
same wish. ' Kong Valdemar og' hans S0s- 
ter,' Grundtvig, No 126, ni, 97, has a testa 
ment in A-B and I ; in I, 14-19 (ni, 912), 
Liden Kirsten bequeaths her knife, with the 
same imprecation, to the queen, who, in the 
other copies, is her unrelenting foe : so Lil- 
lelin to Herr Adelbrand, Danske Viser, m, 
386, No 162, 16-18, Kristensen, I, 262, No 
100, A 20-23, having been dragged at a horse's 
heels in resentment of a taunt. ' Hustru og 
Mands Moder,' Grundtvig, No. 84, n, 404, has 
a testament in A, B, D, H, and in the ' last 



144 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



three a bequest of shoes or sark to a cruel 
mother-in-law or foster-mother, with the wish 
that she may have no peace or much pain 
in the wearing. ' Catarina de Li6,' Briz y 
Candi, Cansons de la Terra, I, 209, has been 
beaten by her mother-in-law while in a deli 
cate state. When she is at the point of death, 
the mother-in-law asks what doctor she will 
have and what will she will make. " My 
will," says Catherine, " will not please you 
much. Send back my velvet dress to my fa 
ther's ; my gala dress give my sister ; give my 
working dress to the maid, my jewels to the 
Virgin." " And what will you leave to me ? " 
" What I leave you will not please you much : 
my husband to be hanged, my mother-in-law 
to be quartered, and my sister-in-law to be 
burned." ' Le Testament de Marion,' another 
version of this story from the south of France, 
Uchaud, Gard, Podsies pop. de la France, MS., 
IV, fol. 283, bequeaths " my laces to my sister 
Marioun, my prettiest gowns to my sister 
Jeanneton ; to my rascal of a husband three 
fine cords, and, if that is not enough (to hang 
him), the hem of his shirt." The Portuguese 
ballad of ' Dona Helena ' rather implies than 
expresses the imprecation : Braga, C. P. do 
Archipelago Aqoriano, p. 225, No 15, p. 227, 
No 16 ; Almeida-Garrett, in, 56 ; Hartung, I, 
233-43, No 18. Helena leaves her husband's 
house when near childbirth, out of fear of his 
mother. Her husband, who does not know her 
reason, goes after her, and compels her to re 
turn on horseback, though she has just borne a 
son. The consequences are what might be ex 
pected, and Helena desires to make her shrift 
and her will. She leaves one thing to her oldest 
sister, another to her youngest. " And your 
boy ? " " To your bitch of a mother, cause 
of my woes." " Rather to yours," says the 
husband, " for I shall have to kill mine " (so 
Braga ; Garrett differs somewhat). * Die Frau 
zur Weissenburg ' (A), Uhland, p. 287, No 
123 B, Scherer's Jungbrunnen, p. 94, No 29 ; 
' Das Lied von der Lowenburg ' (B), Simrock, 
p. 65, No 27; 'Hans Steutlinger' (C), Wun- 



derhorn, n, 168 (1857), all one story, have a 
bitterly sarcastic testament. A lady insti 
gates her paramour to kill her husband. The 
betrayed man is asked to whom he will leave 
his children [commit, A, bequeath, B, C]. 
" To God Almighty, for he knows who they 
are." " Your property ? " " To the poor, for 
the rich have enough." " Your wife ? " " To 
young Count Frederic, whom she always liked 
more than me^(A)." " Your castle ? " " To 
the flames." 

In some cases there is no trace of animosity 
towards the person who has caused the tes 
tator's death ; as in ' El testamento de Amelia ' 
(who has been poisoned by her mother), Mila, 
Observaciones, p. 103, No 5, Briz y Salt6, Can- 
sons de la Terra, n, 197 (two copies) ; ' Her- 
ren Bald,' Afzelius, I, 76, No 16 (new ed. I, 59, 
No 15) ; a Swedish form of ' Frillens Hsevn,' 
Grundtvig, IV, 203 ; Rene*e le Glaz ' and ' Er- 
voanik Le Lintier,' Luzel, C. P. de la Basse 
Bretagne, I, 405, 539, 553. There are also 
simple testaments where there is no occasion 
for an ill remembrance, as in ' Ribold og 
Guldborg,' Grundtvig, No 82, I, K, L, U, X, 
JE, Kristensen, n, No 84 B ; ' Pontplancoat,' 
Luzel, I, 383, 391. And, again, there are par 
odies of these wills. Thus the fox makes his 
will : Grundtvig, Gamle danske Minder, 1854, 
' Mikkels Arvegods,' p. 24, and p. 25 a copy 
from a manuscript three hundred years old; 
Kristensen, Jyske Folkeviser, II, 324, No 90 ; 
'Reven og Bjonnen,' ' Reven og Nils fiskar,' 
Landstad, Nos 85, 86, p. 637, 639 : and the rob 
in, Robin's Tesment,' Buchan, I, 273, Herd's 
MSS, i, 154, and Scottish Songs (1776), n, 
166, Chambers' Popular Rhymes, p. 38, 
" new edition." , 

Translated in Grundtvig's Engelske og 
skotske Folkeviser, No 33, p. 212, P, with 
use of A and G b ; Aytoun's copy, with omis 
sions, by Rosa Warrens, Schottische Volks- 
lieder der Vorzeit, No 17, p. 80 ; after Al- 
lingham and others, by Knortz, Lieder und 
Romanzen Alt-Englands, No 5, p. 16. 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



145 



a. Alex. Fraser Tytler's Brown MS. b. Jamieson's 
Popular Ballads, i, 66, purporting to be from the recitation 
of Mrs Arrot of Aberbrothick. 

1 THERE was three ladies playd at the ba, 

With a hey ho and a lillie gay 
There came a knight and played oer them a'. 
As the primrose spreads so sweetly 

2 The eldest was baith tall and fair, 
But the youngest was beyond compare. 

3 The midmost had a graceful mien, 

But the youngest lookd like beautie's queen. 

4 The knight bowd low to a' the three, 
But to the youngest he bent his knee. 

5 The ladie turned her head aside, 

The knight he woo'd her to be his bride. 

6 The ladie blushd a rosy red, 

And sayd, ' Sir knight, I 'm too young to 
wed.' 

7 ' O ladie fair, give me your hand, 

And I '11 make you ladie of a' my land.' 

8 ' Sir knight, ere ye my favor win, 
You maun get consent frae a' my kin.' 

9 He 's got consent frae her parents dear, 
And likewise frae her sisters fair. 

10 He 's got consent frae her kin each one, 
But forgot to spiek to her brother John. 

11 Now, when the wedding day was come, 

The knight would take his bonny bride home. 

12 And many a lord and many a knight 
Came to behold that ladie bright. 

13 And there was nae man that did her see, 
But wishd himself bridegroom to be. 

19 



14 Her father dear led her down the stair, 
And her sisters twain they kissd her there. 

15 Her mother dear led her thro the closs, 
And her brother John set her on her horse. 

16 She leand her oer the saddle-bow, 
To give him a kiss ere she did go. 

17 He has taen a knife, baith lang and sharp, 
And stabbd that bonny bride to the heart. 

18 She hadno ridden half thro the town, 
Until her heart's blude staind her gown. 

19 ' Ride softly on,' says the best young man, 

' For I think our bonny bride looks pale and 
wan.' 

20 ' lead me gently up yon hill, 

And I '11 there sit down, and make my will.' 

21 ' what will you leave to your father dear ? ' 
' The silver-shod steed that brought me here.' 

22 ' What will you leave to your mother dear ? ' 
' My velvet pall and my silken gear.' 

23 ' What will you leave to your sister Anne ? ' 
' My silken scarf and my gowden fan.' 

24 ' What will you leave to your sister Grace ? ' 
f My bloody cloaths to wash and dress.' 

25 ' What will you leave to your brother John ? ' 
* The gallows-tree to hang him on.' 

26 ' What will you leave to your brother John's 

wife ? ' 
' The wilderness to end her life.' 

27 This ladie fair in her grave was laid, 
And many a mass was oer her said. 

28 But it would have made your heart right sair, 
To see the bridegroom rive his haire. 



146 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



B 



Kinloch's MSS, i, 21, from Mary Barr, May, 1827, Clydes 
dale. 

1 A GENTLEMAN cam oure the sea, 

Fine flowers in the valley 
And he has courted ladies three. 

With the light green and the yellow 

2 One o them was clad in red : 

He asked if she wad be his hride. 

3 One o them was clad in green : 
He asked if she wad be his queen. 

4 The last o them was clad in white : 

He asked if she wad be his heart's delight. 

5 ' Ye may ga ask my father, the king : 
Sae maun ye ask my mither, the queen. 

6 ' Sae maun ye ask my sister Anne : 
And dinna forget my brither John.' 

7 He has asked her father, the king : 
And sae did he her mither, the queen. 

8 And he has asked her sister Anne : 
But he has forgot her brother John. 

9 Her father led her through the ha, 
Her mither danced afore them a'. 

10 Her sister Anne led her through the closs, 
Her brither John set her on her horse. 

11 It 's then he drew a little penknife, 
And he reft the fair maid o her life. 

12 ' Ride up, ride up,' said the foremost man ; 
' I think our bride comes hooly on.' 

13 ' Ride up, ride up/ said the second man ; 
' I think our bride looks pale and wan.' 



14 Up than cam the gay bridegroom, 
And straucht unto the bride he cam. 

15 ' Does your side-saddle sit awry ? 
Or does your steed . . . 

16 ' Or does the rain run in your glove ? 
Or wad ye chuse anither love ? ' 

17 ' The rain runs not in my glove, 
Nor will I e'er chuse anither love. 

18 ' But O an I war at Saint Evron's well, 
There I wad licht, and drink my fill ! 

19 ' Oh an I war at Saint Evron's closs, 
There I wad licht, and bait my horse ! ' 

20 Whan she cam to Saint Evron's well, 
She dought na licht to drink her fill. 

21 Whan she cam to Saint Evron's closs, 
The bonny bride fell aff her horse. 

22 ' What will ye leave to your father, the king ? ' 
' The milk-white steed that I ride on.' 

23 'What will ye leave to your mother, the 

queen ? ' 
' The bluidy robes that I have on.' 

24 ' What will ye leave to your sister Anne ? ' 
' My gude lord, to be wedded on.' 

25 ' What will ye leave to your brither John ? ' 
' The gallows pin to hang him on.' 

26 ' What will ye leave to your brither's wife ? ' 
' Grief and sorrow a' the days o her life.' 

27 ' What will ye leave to your brither's bairns ? ' 
' The meal-pock to hang oure the arms.' 

28 Now does she neither sigh nor groan : 
She lies aneath yon marble stone. 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



147 



Harris MS., p. 11 b, No 7. 

1 THERE waur three ladies in a ha, 

Hech hey an the lily gey 
By cam a knicht, an he wooed them a'. 
An the rose is aye the redder aye 

2 The first ane she was cled in green ; 

' Will you fancy me, an be my queen ? ' 

3 ' You may seek me frae my father dear, 
An frae my mither, wha did me bear. 

4 ' You may seek me frae my sister Anne, 
But no, no, no frae my brither John.' 

5 The niest ane she was cled in yellow ; 

' Will you fancy me, an be my marrow ? ' 

6 ' Ye may seek me frae my father dear, 
An frae my mither, wha did me bear. 

7 ' Ye may seek me frae my sister Anne, 
But no, no, no frae my brither John.' 

8 The niest ane she was cled in red : 

' Will ye fancy me, an be my bride ? ' 

9 ' Ye may seek me frae my father dear, 
An frae my mither wha did me bear. 



10 ' Ye may seek me frae my sister Anne, 
An dinna forget my brither John.' 

11 He socht her frae her father, the king, 

An he socht her frae her mither, the queen. 

12 He socht her frae her sister Anne, 
But he forgot her brither John. 

13 Her mither she put on her goun, 

An her sister Anne preened the ribbons doun. 

14 Her father led her doon the close, 

An her brither John set her on her horse. 
***** 

15 Up an spak our foremost man : 

' I think our bonnie bride 's pale an wan.' 
***** 

16 ' What will ye leave to your father dear ? '. 
'My an my ...... chair.' 

17 ' What will ye leave to your mither dear ? ' 
' My silken screen I was wont to wear.' 

18 ' What will ye leave to your sister Anne ? ' 
' My silken snood an my golden fan.' 

19 ' What will you leave to your brither John ? ' 
' The gallows tree to hang him on.' 



D 



Notes and Queries, 1st S., vi, 53, 2d S., v, 171. As sung 
by a lady who was a native of County Kerry, Ireland. 

1 THERE were three ladies playing at ball, 
Farin-dan-dan and farin-dan-dee 



There came a white knight, and he wooed them 

all. 
With adieu, sweet honey, wherever you be 

2 He courted the eldest with golden rings, 
And the others with many fine things. 
And adieu, etc. 



E 



Notes and Queries, 4th S., v, 105. From Forfarshire, W. F. 

THERE were three sisters playin at the ba, 
Wi a hech hey an a lillie gay 



There cam a knicht an lookt ower the wa'. 
An the primrose springs sae sweetly. 
Sing Annet, an Marret, an fair Maisrie, 
An the dew hangs i the wood, gay ladie. 



148 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



Gilbert's Ancient Christmas Carols, 2d ed., p. 68, as re 
membered by the editor. West of England. 

1 THERE did three knights come from the west, 

With the high and the lily oh 
And these three knights courted one lady. 
As the rose was so sweetly blown 

2 The first knight came was all in white, 
And asked of her, if she 'd be his delight. 

3 The next knight came was all in green, 
And asked of her, if she 'd be his queen. 

4 The third knight came was all in red, 
And asked of her, if she would wed. 

5 ' Then have you asked of my father dear, 
Likewise of her who did me bear ? 

6 ' And have you asked of my brother John ? 
And also of my sister Anne ? ' 

7 ' Yes, I have asked of your father dear, 
Likewise of her who did you bear. 

8 ' And I have asked of your sister Anne, 
But I 've not asked of your brother John.' 

9 Far on the road as they rode along, 
There did they meet with her brother John. 



10 She stooped low to kiss him sweet, 
He to her heart did a dagger meet. 

11 ' Ride on, ride on,' cried the serving man, 
'Methinks your bride she looks wondrous 

wan.' 

12 ' I wish I were on yonder stile, 

For there I would sit and bleed awhile. 

13 'I wish I were on yonder hill, 
There I 'd alight and make my will.' 

14 ' What would you give to your father dear ? ' 
' The gallant steed which doth me bear.' 

15 ' What would you give to your mother dear ? ' 
' My wedding shift which I do wear. 

16 ' But she must wash it very clean, 

For my heart's blood sticks in evry seam.' 

17 ' What would you give to your sister Anne ? ' 
' My gay gold ring and my feathered fan.' 

18 ' What would you give to your brother John ? ' 
' A rope and gallows to hang him on.' 

19 ' What would you give to your brother John's 

wife?' 
' A widow's weeds, and a quiet life.' 



G 



a. Herd's MSS, i, 41. b. Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, 
88. 

1 THERE was three ladys in a ha, 

Fine flowers i the valley 
There came three lords amang them a', 
Wi the red, green, and the yellow 

2 The first of them was clad in red: 

' O lady fair, will you be my bride ? ' 

3 The second of them was clad in green : 
' lady fair, will you be my queen ? ' 

4 The third of them was clad in yellow : 

1 lady fair, will you be my marrow ? ' 



5 ' You must ask my father, dear, 
Likewise the mother that did me bear.' 

6 ' You must ask my sister Ann, 
And not forget my brother John.' 

7 ' I have askt thy father dear, 
Likewise thy mother that did thee bear. 

8 ' I have askt thy sister Ann, 
But I forgot thy brother John.' 

9 Her father led her through the ha, 
Her mother dancd before them a'. 

10 Her sister Ann led her through the closs, 
Her brother John put her on her horse.. 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



149 



1 1 ' You are high and I am low ; 
Let me have a kiss before you go.' 

12 She was louting down to kiss him sweet, 
Wi his penknife he wounded her deep. 

***** 

13 ' O lead me over into yon stile, 
That I may stop and hreath a while. 



16 ' what will you leave your mother dear ? ' 
' The silken gown that I did wear.' 

17 ' What will you leave your sister Ann ? ' 
' My silken snood and golden fan.' 

18 ' What will you leave your brother John ? ' 
' The highest gallows to hang him on.' 



14 ' O lead me over to yon stair, 

For there I '11 ly and bleed ne mair.' 



19 ' What will you leave your brother John's 

wife?' 

' Grief and sorrow to end her life.' 
15 ' what will you leave your father dear ? ' 

' That milk-white steed that brought me here.' 20 ' What will ye leave your brother John's 

bairns ? ' 
' The world wide for them to range.' 



Herd's MSS..I, 44, n, 75; Scottish Songs, 1776, i, 90; 
appended to G. 

SHE louted down to gie a kiss, 
With a hey and a lilly gay 



He stuck his penknife in her hass. 
And the rose it smells so sweetly 

' Ride up, ride up,' cry'd the foremost man ; 
' I think our bride looks pale and wan.' 



Kinloch's MSS, i, 27. From Mrs Bouchart, an old lady 
native of Forfarshire. 

1 THERE war three bonnie boys playing at the 

ba, 

Hech hey and a lily gay 
There cam three ladies to view them a'. 
And the rose it smells sae sweetlie 

2 The first ane was clad in red : 

' 0,' says he, ' ye maun be my bride.' 

3 The next o them was clad in green : 

* 0,' says he, ' ye maun be my queen.' 

4 The tither o them was clad in yellow ^ 

' O,' says he, ' ye maun be my marrow.' 

5 ' Ye maun gang to my father's bouer, 
To see gin your bride he '11 let me be.' 

6 Her father led her doun the stair, 
Her mither at her back did bear. 



8 She loutit doun to gie him a kiss ; 

He struck his penknife thro her breist. 

9 ' Ride on, ride on,' says the foremaist man ; 
' I think our bride looks pale and wan.' 

10 'Ride on, ride on,' says the merry bride 

groom ; 

* I think my bride's blude is rinnin doun.' 



11 ' O gin I war at yon bonnie hill, 
I wad lie doun and bleed my fill ! 

12 ' gin I war at yon bonnie kirk-yard, 
I wad mak my testament there ! ' 

13 ' What will ye leave to your father dear ? ' 

' The milk-white steed that brocht me here.' 

14 ' What will ye leave to your mother dear ? ' 
' The bluidy robes that I do wear.' 

15 ' What will ye leave to your sister Ann ? ' 
' My silken snood and gowden fan.' 



7 Her sister Jess led her out the closs, 
Her brother John set her on the horse. 



16 * What will ye leave to your sister Jess ? ' 
' The bonnie lad that I loe best.' 



150 



11. THE CRUEL BROTHER 



17 ' What will ye leave to your brother John ? ' 
' The gallows pin to hang him on.' 

18 ' What will ye leave to your brother John's 

wife?' 
' Sorrow and trouble a' her life.' 



19 ' What will ye leave to your brother's bairns ? ' 
' The warld 's wide, and let them beg.' 



From Miss Margaret Reburn, as current in County Meath, 
Ireland, about 1860. 

1 THERE were three sisters playing ball, 

With the high and the lily 
And there came three knights to court them 

all. 
With the rosey sweet, heigh ho 

2 The eldest of them was drest in green : 
' I wish I had you to be my queen.' 

3 The second of them was drest in red : 
' I wish I had you to grace my bed.' 

4 The youngest of them was drest in white : 
'I wish I had you to be my wife.' 

5 ' Did ye ask my father brave ? 
Or did ye ask my mother fair ? 

6 ' Or did ye ask my brother John ? 

For without his will I dare not move on.' 



7 ' I did ask your parents dear, 

But I did not see your brother John.' 
***** 

8 ' Ride on, ride on,' said the first man, 

' For I fear the bride comes slowly on.' 

9 ' Ride on, ride on,' said the next man, 

' For lo ! the bride she comes bleeding on..' 
***** 

10 ' What will you leave your mother dear ? ' 
' My heart's best love for ever and aye.' 

11 ' What will ye leave your sister Anne ? ' 
' This wedding garment that I have on.' 

12 'What will ye leave your brother John's 

wife?' 
' Grief and sorrow all the days of her life.' 

13 ' What will ye leave your brother John ? ' 
' The highest gallows to hang him on.' 

14 ' What will ye leave your brother John's son ? ' 
' The grace of God to make him a man.' 



Notes and Queries, 4th S., iv, 517, as "sung in Cheshire 
amongst the people " in the last century. T. W. 

1 THERE were three ladies playing at ball, 

Gilliver, Gentle, and Rosemary 
There came three knights and looked over the 

wall. 
Sing O the red rose and the white lilly 

2 The first young knight, he was clothed in red, 
And he said, ' Gentle lady, with me will you 

wed?' 

3 The second young knight, he was clothed in 

blue, 

And he said, 'To my love I shall ever be 
true.' 



4 The third young knight, he was clothed in 

green, 

And he said, ' Fairest maiden, will you be my 
queen ? ' 

5 The lady thus spoke to the knight in red, 
' With you, sir knight, I never can wed.' 

6 The lady then poke to the knight in blue, 
And she said, ' Little faith I can have in you.' 

7 The lady then spoke to the knight in green, 
And she said, ' 'T is at court you must seek for 

a queen.' 

8 The three young knights then rode away, 
And the ladies they laughed, and went back to 

their play. 
Singing, etc. 



12. LORD RANDAL 



151 



A. b. 6 2 . oer young. 

10 2 . spear at. 
17 2 . the bonny. 
19 1 . said. 

23 1 . And what will ye. 
25 1 . This fair lady. 2 . And a mass. 
Variations of Aytouris copy, sts. 9-13, 16, 17, 
20-24 : II 1 omits And ; 12 1 , 13 1 omit dear ; 
13 2 omits And ; 16 1 , through half for half 
thro ; 17 2 omits For, bonny ; 21 2 , pearlin/or 
silken ; 22 l omits And ; 22 2 , My silken 
gown that stands its lane ; 23 2 , shirt for 
cloaths ; 24 1 , And what ; 24 2 , The gates o 
hell to let him in. 

B. "I have seen a fragment of another copy in 

which [the burden is] 

The red rose and the lily 
And the roses spring fu sweetly." Kinloch, 
p. 19. 

F. 9 1 . For on the road. 

Gr. a. 1. Burden*. The red, green, etc. : after 
wards, Wi the red, etc. 



2 2 . MS. also, He askt of me if I 'd be his 
bride. 

3 2 . MS. also, He askt of me if I 'd be his 
queen. 

4 2 . MS. also, He askt me if I'd be his mar 
row. 

15 2 . MS. also, The gold and silver that I have 
here. 

16 2 . MS. also, The silken garment. 

17 2 . MS. also, My satine hat. 

20 2 , MS. also, The world wide, let them go 
beg. 

b. 7 2 . the mother. 

b. 14 1 . into yon stair. 

Variations of Aytoun's copy, sts. 1-8, 14, 15, 
18, 19 from Herd, 1776 : I 1 , three sisters ; 
2 2 , 3 2 , 4 2 omit fair ; 5 1 , O ye maun ; 6 1 , And 
ye ; 7 1 , I have ; 8 1 , And I have ask'd your 
sister ; 8 a , your brother ; 14 2 , Give me a 
kiss ; 15 2 , When wi his knife. 

H. " I have heard this song, to a very good tune 
not in any collection, with the above varia 
tions the chorus, of the whole as in the 
above two verses." Herd's note in his MSS. 



12 
LORD KANDAL 



A. From a manuscript copy, probably of the beginning 
of this century. 



of New Bedford, d. By a lady of Cambridge, e, f, g. 
By ladies of Boston. 



B. ' Lord Donald,' Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, J. ' The Bonnie Wee Croodlin Dow,' Motherwell's 
p. 110. MS., p. 238. 



C. Motherwell's MS., p. 69. 

D. Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 1803, in, 292. 

B. Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, p. 
261. 

F. ' Lord Ronald, my Son,' Johnson's Museum, No 
327, p. 337. 

G. Illustrations of Northern Antiquities, p. 319. 

H. From recitation, 1881. 

O. ' The Croodlin Doo.' From a manuscript belong- 

I. ' Tiranti, my Son.' a. Communicated by a lady of ing to the Fraser,-Ty,tlei; family. 
Boston, b. By an aunt of the same. c. By a lady 



K. a. The Croodlin Doo,' Chambers, Scottish Bal 
lads, p. 324. b. ' The Wee Croodlen Doo,' Cham 
bers, Popular Rhymes, 1842, p. 53. c. Johnson's 
Museum, by Stenhouse and Laing, iv, 364*. 

L. < Willie Doo,' Buchan's MSS, ii, 322, and Ballads, 
n, 179. 

M. ' The Croodin Doo,' Chambers, Popular Rhymes, 
1870, p. 51. 

N. Kinloch MSS, V, 347. 



152 



12. LORD RANDAL 



THE title ' Lord Randal ' is selected for this 
ballad because that name occurs in one of the 
better versions, and because it has become fa 
miliar through Scott's Minstrelsy. Scott says 
that the hero was more generally termed Lord 
Ronald : but in the versions that have come 
down to us this is not so. None of these can 
be traced back further than a century. P 
and D were the earliest published. Jamieson 
remarks with respect to G (1814) : " An 
English gentleman, who had never paid any 
attention to ballads, nor ever read a collection 
of such things, told me that when a child he 
learnt from a playmate of his own age, the 
daughter of a clergyman in Suffolk, the fol 
lowing imperfect ditty." I, a version current 
in eastern Massachusetts, may be carried as 
far back as any. a, b derive from Elizabeth 
Foster, whose parents, both natives of eastern 
Massachusetts, settled, after their marriage, in 
Maine, where she was born in 1789. Eliza 
beth Foster's mother is remembered to have 
sung the ballad, and I am informed that the 
daughter must have learned it not long after 
1789, since she was removed in her childhood 
from Maine to Massachusetts, and continued 
there till her death. ' Tiranti ' [' Taranti '] 
may not improbably be a corruption of Lord 
Randal. 

The copy in Smith's Scottish Minstrel, TTT, 
58, is Scott's altered. The first four stanzas 
are from the Border Minstrelsy, except the 
last line of the fourth, which is from Johnson's 
Museum. The last two stanzas are a poor 
modern invention. 

Three stanzas which are found in A. Cun 
ningham's Scottish Songs, I, 286 f, may be 
given for what they are worth. ' The house 
of Marr,' in the first, is not to be accepted on 
the simple ground of its appearance in his 
pages. The second is inserted in his beauti 
fied edition of Scott's ballad, and has its bur 
den accordingly ; but there is, besides this, no 
internal evidence against the second, and none 
against the third. 

* Opera nuova, nella quale si contiene ana incatenatura 
di piu villanelle ed altre cose ridiculose. . . . Data in luce 
per me Camillo, detto il Bianchino, cieco Florentine. Flie- 



' O where have you been, Lord Ronald, my son ? 
where have you been, my handsome young man?' 
' At the house of Marr, mother, so make my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm wearied with hunting, and fain would lie 

down.' 

' where did she find them, Lord Randal, my son ? 
O where did she catch them, my handsome young 

man ?' 
' Neath the bush of brown bracken, so make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm wae and I 'm weary, and fain would lie 

down.' 

' what got your bloodhounds, Lord Ronald, my 
son? 

what got your bloodhounds, my bandsome young 

man?' 
' They lapt the broo, mother, so make my bed soon, 

1 am wearied with hunting, and fain would lie 

down.' 

A pot-pourri or quodlibet, reprinted in 
Wolff's Egeria, p. 53, from a Veronese broad 
side of the date 1629, shows that this ballad 
was popular in Italy more than 250 years 
ago ; for the last but one of the fragments 
which make up the medley happens to be the 
first three lines of ' L'Avvelenato,' very nearly 
as they are sung at the present day, and these 
are introduced by a summary of the story : 

" lo vo' finire con questa d'un amante 
Tradito dalV amata. 
Oh che 1'e si garbata 
A cantarla in ischiera : 
' Dov' andastu iersera, 
Figliuol mio ricco, savio e gentile ? 
Dov' andastu iersera ' ? " * 

The ballad was first recovered in 1865, by 
Dr G. B. Bolza, who took it down from the 
singing of very young girls at Loveno. Since 
then good copies have been found at Venice. 
A, * L'Avvelenato,' Bolza, Canzoni popolari 
comasche, No 49, Sitzungsberichte of the 
Vienna Academy (philos. histor. class), LIII, 

gendes Blatt von Verona, 1629. Egeria, p. 53; p. 260, note 
31. With the above (Egeria, p. 59) compare especially the 
beginning of Italian B, further on. 



12. LORD RANDAL 



153 



[To 'Lord Randal,' p. 152f.] 
I have unaccountably failed to mention 
(though I had made note of them) three ver 
sions of ' L'Avvelenato ' which are cited by 
Professor D'Ancona in his Poesia popolare 
italiana, p. 106 ff. 

D. The Canon Lorenzo Panciatichi refers 
to the ballad in a ' Cicalata in lode della Pa- 
della e della Frittura,' recited at the Crusca, 
September 24, 1656, and in such manner as 
shows that it was well known. He quotes 
the first question of the mother, ' Dove an- 
dastu a cena,' etc. To this the son answered, 
he says, that he had been poisoned with a 
roast eel ; and the mother asking what the 
lady had cooked it in, the reply was, In the 
oil pot. 

B. A version obtained by D'Ancona from 
the singing of a young fellow from near Pisa, 
of which the first four stanzas are given. 



Some verses after these are lost, for the testa 
ment is said to supervene immediately. 

P. A version from Lecco, which has the 
title, derived from its burden, ' De lu cavalieri 
e figliu de re,' A. Trifone Nutricati Briganti, 
Intorno ai Canti e Racconti popolari del Lec- 
cese, p. 17. The first four stanzas are cited, 
and it appears from these that the prince had 
cooked the eel himself, and, appropriately, in 
a gold pan. 

[To 'The Cruel Brother/ p. 142.] 

I will take the opportunity to remark that 
Nigra has just republished in Romania XI, 
391, ' Luggieri,' a version, from Arezzo, of 
< Rizzardo bello,' previously printed by Giulio 
Salvatori in the Rassegna Settimanale, No. 
77, Rome, June 22, 1879. Nigra treats Lug 
gieri ' as a variety of ' Jean Renaud.' To me 
it seems an independent ballad. 



as in A the bequest to his false love, in 
stead of whom we have his mother in C. 

The corresponding German ballad has been 
known to the English for two generations 
through Jamieson's translation. The several 
versions, all from oral tradition of this century, 

* It begins : 

" Dove si sta jersira, 

Figliuol mio caro, Jiorito e gentil f 

Dove si sta jersira ? " 
" Son sta dalla mia dama; 

Signora Mama, mio core sta mat ! 

Son sta dalla mia dama ; 

Ohime ! ctiio moro, ohime ! " 

t E. g. (B) : 

1 " E dove xestu sta gieri sera, 
Figlio mio rico, sapio e gentil? 
20 



burg. A child has been at her mother's sis 
ter's house, where she has had a well-peppered 
broth and a glass of red wine. The dogs 
[and cats] had some broth too, and died on 
the spot. The child wishes its father a seat 
in heaven, for its mother one in hell. E, 

E dove xestu sta gieri sera, 
Gentil mio cavalier? " 

2 " E mi so' stato da la mia bela; 
Signora madre, el mio cuor sta mal ! 
E mi so' stato da la mia bela; 

Oh Dio, che moro, ohime ! " 

3 " E cossa t'ala dato da 9ena, 
Figlio mio? " etc. 

4 "E la m'a dato 'n'anguila rostita; 
Signora madre," etc. 



152 



12. LORD RANDAL 



museum. ne iasu two stanzas are a poor 
modern invention. 

Three stanzas which are found in A. Cun 
ningham's Scottish Songs, I, 286 f, may be 
given for what they are worth. ' The house 
of Marr,' in the first, is not to be accepted on 
the simple ground of its appearance in his 
pages. The second is inserted in his beauti 
fied edition of Scott's ballad, and has its bur 
den accordingly ; but there is, besides this, no 
internal evidence against the second, and none 
against the third. 

* Opera nuova, nella quale si contiene una incatenatura 
di piu villanelle ed altre cose ridiculose. . . . Data in luce 
per me Camillo, detto il Bianchino, cieco Florentine. Flie- 



A cantarla in ischiera : 

' Dov' andastu iersera, 

Figliuol mio ricco, savio e gentile ? 

Dov' andastu iersera ' ? " * 

The ballad was first recovered in 1865, by 
Dr G. B. Bolza, who took it down from the 
singing of very young girls at Loveno. Since 
then good copies have been found at Venice. 
A, ' L'Avvelenato,' Bolza, Canzoni popolari 
comasche, No 49, Sitzungsberichte of the 
Vienna Academy (philos. histor. class), Lin, 

gendes Blatt von Verona, 1629. Egeria, p. 53; p. 260, note 
31. With the above (Egeria, p. 59) compare especially the 
beginning of Italian B, further on. 



12. LOBD RANDAL 



153 



668, is of seventeen stanzas, of seven short 
lines, all of which repeat but two : the 8th 
and 10th stanzas are imperfect.* A mother 
inquires of her son where he has been. He 
has been at his mistress's, where he has eaten 
part of an eel ; the rest was given to a dog, 
that died in the street. The mother declares 
that he has been poisoned. He bids her send 
for the doctor to see him, for the curate to 
shrive him, for the notary to make his will. 
He leaves his mother his palace, his brothers 
his carriage and horses, his sisters a dowry, 
his servants a free passage to mass (" la strada 
d'anda a messa " = nothing), a hundred and 
fifty masses for his soul ; for his mistress the 
gallows to hang her. B, C, ' L'Avvelenato,' 
Bernoni, Nuovi Canti popolari veneziani, 1874, 
No 1, p. 5, p. 3, have twelve and eighteen 
four-line stanzas, the questions and answers 
in successive stanzas, and the last three lines 
of the first pair repeated respectively th rough- 
out, f B, which is given as a variant of C, 
agrees with A as to the agent in the young 
man's death. It is his mistress in B, but in 
C it is his mother. In both, as in A, he has 
eaten of an eel. The head he gave to the 
dogs, the tail to the cats (C). He leaves to 
his stewards (castaldi) his carriages and horses 
(C) ; to his herdsmen his cows and fields ; to 
the maids his chamber furnishings ; to his 
sister the bare privilege of going to mass (C, 
as in A) ; to his mother [wife, C] the keys 
of his treasure. " La forca per picarla " is in 
B as in A the bequest to his false love, in 
stead of whom we have his mother in C. 

The corresponding German ballad has been 
known to the English for two generations 
through Jamieson's translation. The several 
versions, all from oral tradition of this century, 

* It begins : 

" Dove si sta jersira, 

Figliuol mio caro,jiorito e gentil? 

Dove si sta jersira 1 " 
" Sou sta dalla mia dama; 

Signora Mama, mio core sta mal ! 

Son sta dalla mia dama ; 

Ohime I ch'io moro, ohime ! " 

t E. g. (B) : 

1 " E dove xestu sta gieri sera, 
Figlio mio rico, sapio e gentil ? 
20 



show the same resemblances and differences 
as the English. 

A, B, ' Schlangenkb'chin,' eight stanzas of 
six lines, four of which are burden, A, Lieder- 
hort, p. 6, No 2 a , from the neighborhood of 
Wilsnack, Brandenburg, B, Peter, I, 187, No 
6, from Weidenau, Austrian Silesia, run thus : 
Henry tells his mother that he has been at 
his sweetheart's (but not a-hunting) ; has had 
a speckled fish to eat, part of which was given 
to the dog [cat, B], which burst. Henry 
wishes his father and mother all blessings, and 
hell-pains to his love, A 6-8. His mother, B 8, 
asks where she shall make his bed : he replies, 
In the church-yard. C, ' Grossmutter Schlang- 
enkochin,' first published in 1802, in Maria's 
(Clemens Brentano's) romance Godwi, II, 113, 
afterward in the Wunderhorn, 1, 19 (ed. 1819, 
I, 20, ed. 1857), has fourteen two-line stanzas, 
or seven of four lines, one half burden. The 
copy in Zuccalmaglio, p. 217, No 104, " from 
Hesse and North Germany," is the same thing 
with another line of burden intercalated and 
two or three slight changes. Maria has been 
at her grandmother's, who gave her a fish to 
eat which she had caught in her kitchen gar 
den ; the dog ate the leavings, and his belly 
burst. The conclusion agrees with B, neither 
having the testament. D, ' Stiefmutter,' seven 
stanzas of four short lines, two being burden, 
Uhland, No 120, p. 272 ; excepting one slight 
variation, the same as Liederhort, p. 5, No 2, 
from the vicinity of Biickeburg, Lippe-Schaum- 
burg. A child has been at her mother's sis 
ter's house, where she has had a well-peppered 
broth and a glass of red wine. The dogs 
[and cats] had some broth too, and died on 
the spot. The child wishes its father a seat 
in heaven, for its mother one in hell. E, 

E dove xestu sta gieri sera, 
Gentil mio cavalier? " 

2 " E mi so' stato da la mia bela; 
Signora madre, el mio cuor sta mal ! 
E mi so' stato da la mia bela; 

Oh Dio, che moro, ohime ! " 

3 " E cossa t'ala dato da 9ena, 
Figlio mio?" etc. 

4 "E la m'a dato 'n'anguila rostita; 
Signora madre," etc. 



154 



12. LORD RANDAL 



* Kind, wo bist du denn henne west ? ' Reiffen- 
berg, p. 8, No 4, from Bokendorf, Westphalia, 
four stanzas of six lines, combining question 
and answer, two of the six burden. A child 
has been at its step-aunt's, and has had a bit 
of a fish caught in the nettles along the wall. 
The child gives all its goods to its brother, 
its clothes to its sister, but three devils to 
its [step-] mother. F, ' Das vergiftete kind,' 
seven four-line stanzas, two burden, Schuster, 
Siebenbiirgisch-sachsische V. L., p. 62, No 
58, from Miihlbach. A child tells its father 
that its heart is bursting; it has eaten of a 
fish, given it by its mother, which the father 
declares to be an adder. The child wishes 
its father a seat in heaven, its mother one in 
hell. 

A, B are nearer to ' Lord Randal,' and have 
even the name Henry which we find in Eng 
lish C. C-P are like J-O, ' The Croodlin Doo.' 

Dutch. Isabella,' Snellaert, p. 73, No 67, 
seven four-line stanzas, the first and fourth 
lines repeated in each. Isabel has been sew 
ing at her aunt's, and has eaten of a fish with 
yellow stripes that had been caught with tongs 
in the cellar. The broth, poured into the 
street, caused the dogs to burst. She wishes 
her aunt a red-hot furnace, herself a spade to 
bury her, her brother a wife like his mother. 

Swedish. A, * Den lillas Testamente,' ten 
five-line stanzas, three lines burden, Afzelius, 
in, 13, No 68 ; ed. Bergstrom, I, 291, No 55. 
A girl, interrogated by her step-mother, says 
she has been at her aunt's, and has eaten two 
wee striped fishes. The bones she gave the 
dog ; the stanza which should describe the 
effect is wanting. She wishes heaven for her 
father and mother, a ship for her brother, a 
jewel-box and chests for her sister, and hell 
for her step-mother and her nurse. B, Ar- 
widsson, n, 90, No 88, nine five-line stanzas, 
two lines burden. In the first stanza, evidently 
corrupt, the girl says she has been at her broth 
er's. She has had eels cooked with pepper, 
and the bones, given to the dogs, made them 
burst. She gives her father good corn in his 
barns, her brother and sister a ship, etc., hell 
to her step-mother and nurse. 

Danish. Communicated by Prof. Grundt- 



vig, as obtained for the first time from tra 
dition in 1877 ; five stanzas of five lines, three 
lines repeating. Elselille, in answer to her 
mother, says she has been in the meadow, 
where she got twelve small snakes. She wishes 
heavenly joy to her father, a grave to her 
brother, hell torment to her sister. 

Magyar. ' Der vergiftete Knabe,' Aigner, 
Ungarische Volksdichtungen, 2 e Auflage, p. 
127, in nine six-line stanzas, four being a bur 
den. Johnnie, in answer to his mother, says 
he has been at his sister-in-law's, and has eaten 
a speckled toad, served on her handsomest 
plate, of which he is dying. He bequeaths 
to his father his best carriage, to his brothers 
his finest horses, to his sister his house fur 
niture, to his sister-in-law everlasting damna 
tion, to his mother pain and sorrow. 

Wendish. ' Der vergiftete Knabe,' Haupt 
u. Schmaler, I, 110, No 77, twelve four-line 
stanzas, combining question and answer, the 
first and last line repeating. Henry has been 
at the neighbor's, has eaten part of a fish 
caught in the stable with a dung-fork ; his 
dog ate the rest, and burst. There is no tes 
tament. His mother asks him where she shall 
make his bed ; he replies, In the churchyard ; 
turn my head westward, and cover me with 
green turf. 

The numerous forms of this story show a 
general agreement, with but little difference 
except as to the persons who are the object 
and the agent of the crime. These are, ac 
cording to the Italian tradition, which is 250 
years old, while no other goes back more than 
a hundred years, and far the larger part have 
been obtained in recent years, a young man 
and his true-love ; and in this account unite 
two of the three modern Italian versions, 
English A-G, German A, B. Scott suggests 
that the handsome young sportsman (whom we 
find in English A, C, D, B, F, H) may have 
been exchanged for a little child poisoned by 
a step-mother, to excite greater interest in the 
nursery. This seems very reasonable. What 
girl with a lover, singing the ballad, would 
not be tempted to put off the treacherous act 
on so popular, though most unjustly popular, 
an object of aversion ? A mother, again, 



12. LOED RANDAL 



155 



would scarcely allow " mother " to stand, as 
is the case in Italian C and German F, and a 
singer who considered that all blood relations 
should be treated as sacred would ascribe the 
wickedness to somebody beyond that pale, say 
a neighbor, as the Wendish ballad does, and 
Zuccalmaglio's reading of German C. The 
step-mother is expressly named only in Eng 
lish J, K c, L, M, N, O, and in four of these, 
J, K c, M, O, the child has a mammie,* which 
certainly proves an alibi for the step-mother, 
and confirms what Scott says. There is a 
step-aunt in German E and Swedish A, and 
the aunt in German D and the Dutch ballad, 
and the grandmother in English I, EL a, b, 
German C, are perhaps meant (as the brother 
in Swedish B certainly is) to be step-relations 
and accommodating instruments. 

The poisoning is shifted to a wife in English 
H, to an uncle in English I d, and to a sister- 
in-law in the Magyar version. 

There is all but universal consent that the 
poisoning was done by serving up snakes for 
fish. The Magyar says a toad, English M a 
four-footed fish,f German D a well-peppered 
broth and a glass of red wine. English L 
adds a drink of hemlock stocks to the speckled 
trout ; F, H have simply poison. The fish 
are distinctively eels in the Italian versions, 
and in English A, D, E, G, I, Swedish B. 
English A, J, K, M, N, O, German A-D, the 
Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Wendish versions, 
and by implication English C, D, E also, con 
cur in saying that a part of the fish was given 
to a dog [dogs, cat, cats], and that death was 
the consequence. 'Bursting or swelling is char 
acteristic of this kind of poisoning : German 
A, B, C, F, English D, E, and the Dutch and 
Wendish versions. 

The dying youth or child in many cases 
makes a nuncupative will, or declares his last 
wishes, upon a suggestion proceeding from the 
person who is by him, commonly from the 
mother : English A, B, C, H, I : German A, 

* Grundtvig notices this absurdity, Eng. og skotske 
F. v, p. 286, note **. 

t " The nurse or nursery maid who sung these verses (to 
a very plaintive air) always informed the juvenile audience 



D, E, F: the Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, 
Magyar versions. The bequest to the poisoner 
is the gallows in English B, C, H, I, Italian 
A, B, C ; hell, English A, German A. D, F, 
Swedish A, B, Danish; and an equivalent in 
German E, the Dutch and the Magyar copy. 
' The Cruel Brother,' No 11, and * Edward,' 
No 13, have a will of this same fashion. 

In all the English versions the burden has 
the entreaty " Make my bed," and tfris is ad 
dressed to the mother in all but L, N. In H, 
an Irish copy, and I, an American one, the 
mother asks where the bed shall be made ; 
and the answer is, In the churchyard. This 
feature is found again in German B, C and in 
the Wendish version. 

The resemblance in the form of the stanza 
in all the versions deserves a word of remark. 
For the most part, the narrative proceeds in 
sections of two short lines, or rather half lines, 
which are a question and an answer, the rest 
of the stanza being regularly repeated. Eng 
lish L, N, as written (L not always), separate 
the question and answer ; this is done, too, in 
Italian B, C. German E, on the contrary, has 
two questions and the answers in each stanza, 
and is altogether peculiar. Swedish B varies 
the burden in part, imagining father, brother, 
sister, etc., to ask what the little girl will 
give to each, and adapting the reply accord 
ingly, " Faderen min," " Broderen min." 

A Bohemian and a Catalan ballad which 
have two of the three principal traits of the 
foregoing, the poisoning and the testament, do 
not exhibit, perhaps have lost, the third, the 
employment of snakes. 

The story of the first is that a mother who 
dislikes the wife her son has chosen attempts 
to poison her at the wedding feast. She sets 
a glass of honey before the son, a glass of 
poison before the bride. They exchange 
cups. The poison is swift. The young man 
leaves four horses to his brother, eight cows to 
his sister, his fine house to his wife. " And 

that the step-mother was a rank witch, and that the fish was 
an ask (newt), which was in Scotland formerly deemed a 
most poisonous reptile." C. K. Sharpe, in the Musical Mu 
seum, Laing-Stenhouse, iv, 364*. 



156 



12. LORD RANDAL 



what to me, my son ? " asks the mother. A 
broad mill-stone and the deep Moldau is the 
bequest to her. Waldau, Bb'hmische Granaten, 
n, 109, cited by Reifferscheid, p. 137 f. 

The Catalan ballad seems to have been sof 
tened at the end. Here again a mother hates 
her daughter-in-law. She comes to the sick 
woman, " com qui no 'n sabes res," and asks 
What is the matter ? The daughter says, You 
have poisoned me. The mother exhorts her 
to confess and receive the sacrament, and then 
make her will. She gives her castles in France 
to the poor and the pilgrims [and the friars], 
and to her brother Don Carlos [who in one 
version is her husband]. Two of the versions 
remember the Virgin. " And to me ? " " To 
you, my husband [my cloak, rosary], that 
when you go to mass you may remember me." 
In one version the mother asks the dying 
woman where she will be buried. She says At 
Saint Mary's. Mila, Observaciones, p. 103 f, 
No 5, two versions : Briz y Salt6, n, 197 f, 
two also, the first nearly the same as Mila's 
first. 

Poisoning by giving a snake as food, or by 
infusing the venom in drink, is an incident in 
several other popular ballads. 

Donna Lombarda attempts, at the instiga 
tion of a lover, to rid herself of her husband 
by pounding a serpent, or its head, in a mor 
tar, and mixing the juice with his wine [in 
one version simply killing the snake and put 
ting it in a cask] : Nigra, Canzoni del Pie- 
monti, in Rivista Contemporanea, xn, 32 ff, 
four versions ; Marcoaldi, p. 177, No 20; Wolf, 
Volkslieder aus Venetien, p. 46, No 72 ; Righi, 
Canti popolari veronesi, p. 37, No 100* ; Fer- 
raro, C. p. monferrini, p. 1, No 1 ; Bernoni, C. 
p. veneziani, Puntata V, No 1. In three of Ni- 
gra's versions and in Ferraro's the drink is of 
fered when the husband returns from hunting. 
The husband, rendered suspicious by the look 
of the wine, or warned of his danger, forces 
his wife to drink first. So in a northern bal 
lad, a mother who attempts to destroy her sons 
[step-sons] with a brewage of this descrip 
tion is obliged to drink first, and bursts with 
the poison: ' Eiturbyrlunar kvaeSi,' Islenzk 



Fornkv., n, 79, No 43 A ; < Fru Gundela,' 
Arwidsson, n, 92, No 89 ; ' Signelill aa hennes 
synir,' Bugge, p. 95, No xx, the last half. 

In one of the commonest Slavic ballads, a 
girl, who finds her brother an obstacle to her 
desires, poisons him, at the instigation and 
under the instruction of the man she fancies, 
or of her own motion, by giving him a snake 
to eat, or the virus in drink. The object of 
her passion, on being informed of what she has 
done, casts her off, for fear of her doing the like 
to him. Bohemian : ' Sestra traviuka,' Erben, 
P. n. w Cechach, 1842, I, 9, No 2, Prostona- 
rodni cesk6 P., 1864, p. 477, No 13 ; Swoboda, 
Sbirka c. n. P., p. 19 ; German translations by 
Swoboda, by Wenzig, W. s. Marchenschatz, 
p. 263, I. v. Diiringsfeld, Bohmische Rosen, p. 
176, etc. v Moravian : Susil, p. 167, No 168. 
Slovak, Celakowsky, Slowanske n. P., m, 
76. Polish: Kolberg, P. L. p., 1, 115, No 8, 
some twenty versions ; Wojcicki, P. L. bialo- 
chrobatow, etc., I, 71, 73, 232, 289 ; Pauli, P. 
L. polskiego, p. 81, 82 : Konopka, P. L. kra- 
kowskiego, p. 125. Servian :. Vuk, I, 215, 
No 302, translated by Talvj, n, 192, and by 
Kapper, Gesange der Serben, II, 177. Rus 
sian : Celakowsky, as above, in, 108. Etc. 
The attempt is made, but unsuccessfully, in 
Sacharof, P. russkago N., IV, 7. 

A version given by De Rada, Rapsodie d'un 
poema albanese, p. 78, canto x, resembles the 
Slavic, with a touch of the Italian. A man 
incites a girl to poison her brother by pound 
ing the poison out of a serpent's head and 
tail and mixing it with wine. 

In a widely spread Romaic ballad, a mother 
poisons the bride whom her son has just 
brought home, an orphan girl in some ver 
sions, but in one a king's daughter wedding a 
king's son. The cooks who are preparing the 
feast are made to cook for the bride the heads 
of three snakes [nine snakes' heads, a three- 
headed snake, winged snakes and two-headed 
adders]. In two Epirote versions the poisoned 
girl bursts with the effects. " To. Ka/ca TreOepiKa," 
Passow, p. 335, No 456, nearly = Zambelios, 
p. 753, No 41 ; Passow, p. 337, No 457 ; Tom- 
rnaseo, Canti popolari, in, 135 ; Jeannaraki, 



12. LORD RANDAL 



157 



p. 127, No 130 * ; Chasiotis (Epirote), p. 51, 

No 40, " 'H fiovpyapo7rov\a. Kal rj KttKrj ireGepd ; " 
p. 108, No 22, "'O Atovus KOI f) KaKrj ireOepd." 
(Liebrecht, Volkskunde, p. 214.) 

An Italian mother-in-law undertakes to poi 
son her son's wife with a snake-potion. The 
wife, on her husband's return from the chase, 
innocently proposes to share the drink with 
him. Her husband no sooner has tasted than 
he falls dead. (Kaden, Italien's Wunderhorn, 
p. 85). 

Scott cites in his preface to ' Lord Randal ' 
a passage from a MS. chronicle of England, 
in which the death of King John is described 
as being brought about by administering to 
him the venom of a toad (cf. the Magyar 
ballad). The symptoms swelling and rup 
ture are found in the Scandinavian and 
Epirote ballads referred to above, besides those 
previously noticed (p. 155). King John had 
asked a monk at the abbey of Swinshed how 
much a loaf on the table was worth. The 
monk answered a half-penny. The king said 
that if he could bring it about, such a loaf 
should be worth twenty pence ere half a year. 
The monk thought he would rather die than 
that this should come to pass. " And anon 
the monk went unto his abbot and was shrived 
of him, and told the abbot all that the king 
said, and prayed his abbot to assoil him, for 
he would give the king such a wassail that all 
England should be glad and joyful thereof. 
Then went the monk into a garden, and found 
a toad therein, and took her up, and put her 
in a cup, and filled it with good ale, and 



pricked her in every place, in the cup, till the 
venom came out in every place, and brought 
it before the king, and kneeled, and said : 
' Sir, wassail : for never in your life drank ye 
of such a cup.' ' Begin, monk,' said the king : 
and the monk drank a great draught, and took 
the king the cup, and the king also drank a 
great draught, and set down the cup. The 
monk anon went to the firmary, and there 
died anon, on whose soul God have mercy, 
amen. And five monks sing for his soul es 
pecially, and shall while the abbey standeth. 
The king was anon full evil at ease, and com 
manded to remove the table, and asked after 
the monk ; and men told him that he was 
dead, for his womb was broke in sunder. 
When the king heard this tiding, he com 
manded for to truss : but all it was for nought, 
for his belly began to swell from the drink 
that he drank, that he died within two days, 
the morrow after Saint Luke's day." Min 
strelsy, Hi, 287 f. The same story in Eulo- 
gium Historiarum, ed. Haydon, nr, 109 f. 

B and K o are translated by Grundtvig, 
Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 284, 286. 
D, by W. Grimm, 3 Altschottische Lieder, p. 
3 ; by Schubart, p. 177 ; Arndt, p. 229 ; Doen- 
niges, p. 79 ; Gerhardt, p. 83 : Knortz, L. u. 
R. Alt-Englands, p. 174. K a by Fiedler, 
Geschichte der volksthiimlichen schottischen 
Liederdichtung, II, 268. German C is trans 
lated by Jamieson, Illustrations, p. 320 : Swed 
ish A by W. andM. Howitt, Literature and 
Romance of Northern Europe, I, 265. 



From a small manuscript volume lent me by Mr William 
Macmath, of Edinburgh, containing four pieces written in or 
about 1710, and this ballad in a later hand. Charles Mackie. 
August, 1808, is scratched upon the binding. 

1 ' WHERE ha you been, Lord Randal, my 

son? 

And where ha you been, my handsome young 
man? ' 



1 1 ha been at the greenwood ; mother, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm wearied wi hunting, and fain wad lie 

down.' 

2 ' An wha met ye there, Lord Randal, my 

son? 

An wha met you there, my handsome young 
man? ' 



* A golden bird, sitting on the bride's hand, sings, " You 
had better not go there ; you will have a bad mother-in-law 



and a bad father-in-law." There are ill omens also in Pas- 
sow, No 457. 



158 



12. LORD RANDAL 



' O I met wi my true-love ; mother, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm wearied wi huntin, an fain wad lie 

down.' 

3 ' And what did she give you, Lord Randal, my 

son? 
And what did she give you, my handsome 

young man ? ' 
'Eels fried in a pan; mother, mak my bed 

soon, 
For I'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie 

down.' 

4 ' And wha gat your leavins, Lord Randal, my 

son? 
And wha gat your leavins, my handsom young 

man?' 
' My hawks and my hounds ; mother, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm wearied wi hunting, and fain wad lie 

down.' 

5 'And what becam of them, Lord Randal, my 

son ? 
And what becam of them, my handsome young 

m|an ?' 
' They stretched their legs out an died ; mother, 

mak my bed soon, 
For I 'm wearied wi huntin, and fain wad lie 

down.' 

6 ' O I fear you are poisoned, Lord Randal, my 

son ! 
I fear you are poisoned, my handsome young 

man ! ' 
' O yes, I am poisoned ; mother, mak my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

down.' 



7 ' What d' ye leave to your mother, Lord Ran 

dal, my son ? 
What d' ye leave to your mother, my handsome 

young man ? ' 
* Four and twenty milk kye ; mother, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

down.' 

8 ' What d' ye leave to your sister, Lord Ran 

dal, my son? 
What d' ye leave to your sister, my handsome 

young man ? ' 
' My gold and my silver ; mother, mak my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, an I fain wad lie 

down.' 

9 ' What d' ye leave to your brother, Lord Ran 

dal, my son ? 

What d' ye leave to your brother, my hand 
some young man ? ' 

' My houses and my lands ; mother, mak my 
bed soon, 

For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 
down.' 

10 ' What d' ye leave to your true-love, Lord Ran 
dal, my son ? 

What d' ye leave to your true-love, my hand 
some young man ? ' 

' I leave her hell and fire ; mother, mak my 
bed soon, 

For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 
down.' 



B 



Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 110. From Mrs 
Comie, Aberdeen. 

1 ' WHAKE hae ye been a' day, Lord Donald, 

my son ? 

O whare hae ye been a' day, my jollie young 
man ? ' 



' I 've been awa courtin ; mither, mak my bed 

sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

2 ' What wad ye hae for your supper, Lord Don 
ald, my son ? 

What wad ye hae for your supper, my jollie 
young man ? ' 



12. LORD RANDAL 



159 



' I 've gotten my supper ; mither, mak my 

bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

3 ' What did ye get for your supper, Lord Don 

ald, my son ? 
What did ye get for your supper, my jollie 

young man ? ' 
' A dish of sma fishes ; mither mak my hed 

sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

4 ' Whare gat ye the fishes, Lord Donald, my 

son ? 
Whare gat ye the fishes, my jollie young 

man ?' 
' In my father's black ditches ; mither, mak 

my bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

5 ' What like were your fishes, Lord Donald, my 

son? 
What like were your fishes, my jollie young 

man ?' 
' Black backs and spreckld bellies ; mither, 

mak my bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

6 ' I fear ye are poisond, Lord Donald, my 

son ! 
O I fear ye are poisond, my jollie young 

man ! ' 
' yes ! I am poisond ; mither mak my bed 

sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 



7 ' What will ye leave to your father, Lord Don 

ald my son ? 
What will ye leave to your father, my jollie 

young man ? ' 
1 Baith my houses and land ; mither, mak my 

bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

8 ' What will ye leave to your brither, Lord 

Donald, my son? 
What will ye leave to your brither, my jollie 

young man ? ' 
' My horse and the saddle ; mither, mak my 

bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

9 ' What will ye leave to your sister, Lord 

Donald, my son ? 
What will ye leave to your sister, my jollie 

young man ? ' 
' Baith my gold box and rings ; mither, mak 

my bed sune, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wad lie 

doun.' 

10 ' What will ye leave to your true-love, Lord 

Donald, my son ? 
What will ye leave to your true-love, my jollie 

young man ? ' 
' The tow and the halter, for to hang on yon 

tree, 
And lat her hang there for the poysoning o 

me.' 





Motherwell's MS., p. 69. From the recitation of Marga 
ret Bain, in the parish of Blackford, Perthshire. 

1 ' WHAT 's become of your hounds, King Hen- 

rie, my son ? 

What 's become of your hounds, my pretty lit 
tle one ? ' 



' They all died on the way ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 

2 ' What gat ye to your supper, King Henry, my 

son? 

What gat ye to your supper, my pretty little 
one?' 



160 



12. LORD RANDAL 



' I gat fish boiled in broo ; mother, mak my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 

3 ' What like were the fish, King Henry, my 

son ? 

What like were the fish, my pretty little one ? ' 
' They were spreckled on the back and white 

on the belly ; mother, make my bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 

4 ' What leave ye to your father, King Henry, 

my son ? 

What leave ye to your father, my pretty little 
one ? ' 

' The keys of Old Ireland, and all that 's there 
in ; mother, make my bed soon, 

For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 
down.' . 

5 ' What leave ye to your brother, King Henry, 

my son ? 

What leave ye to your brother, my pretty little 
one ? ' 



' The keys of my coffers and all that 's therein ; 

mother, mak my bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 

6 ' What leave ye to your sister, King Henry, 

my son ? 
What leave ye to your sister, my pretty little 

one ? ' 
' The world 's wide, she may go beg ; mother, 

mak my bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 

7 ' What leave ye to your trew-love, King Henry > 

my son ? 

What leave ye to your trew-love, my pretty 
little one ? ' 

' The highest hill to hang her on, for she 's poi 
soned me and my hounds all ; mother, 
make my bed soon, 

Oh I 'm sick to the heart, and I fain wald lie 
down.' 



Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 1803, m, 292. 

1 ' WHERE hae ye been, Lord Randal, my 

son? 
O where hae ye been, my handsome young 

man ? ' 
' I hae been to the wild wood ; mother, make 

my bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and fain wald lie 

down.' 

2 ' Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randal, my 

son? 
Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young 

man ? ' 
' I din'd wi my true-love ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and fain wald lie 

. down.' 

3 ' What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randal, my 

son? 

What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome 
young man ? ' 



' I gat eels boild in broo ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and fain wald lie 

down.' 

4 ' What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Ran 

dal, my son ? 

What became of your bloodhounds, my hand 
some young man ? ' 

' they swelld and they died ; mother, make 
my bed soon, 

For I 'm weary wi hunting, and fain wald lie 
down.' 

5 ' I fear ye are poisond, Lord Randal, my 

son ! 
I fear ye are poisond, my handsome young 

man ! ' 
' O yes ! I am poisond ; mother, make my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie 

down.' 



12. LORD RANDAL 



161 



E 

Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, p. 261. 
"A version still popular in Scotland," 1849. 

1 ' AH where have you been, Lairde Rowlande, 

my son ? 
Ah where have you heen, Lairde Rowlande, 

my son ? ' 
' I 've been in the wild woods ; mither, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and f aine would lie 

down.' 

2 ' Oh you 've been at your true love's, Lairde 

Rowlande, my son ! 
Oh you 've been at your true-love's, Lairde 

Rowlande, my son ! ' 
' I 've been at my true-love's ; mither, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and faine would lie 

down.' 

3 ' What got you to dinner, Lairde Rowlande, my 

son ? 

What got you to dinner, Lairde Rowlande, my 
son ? ' 



' I got eels boild in brue ; mither, mak my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and faine would 

lie down.' 

4 ' What 's become of your warden, Lairde Row 

lande, my son ? 

What 's become of your warden, Lairde Row 
lande, my son ? ' 

' He died in the muirlands ; mither, mak my 
bed soon, 

For I 'm weary wi hunting, and faine would 
lie down.' 

5 ' What 's become of your stag-hounds, Lairde 

Rowlande, my son ? 
What 's become of your stag-hounds, Lairde 

Rowlande, my son ? ' 
1 They swelled and they died ; mither, mak my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi hunting, and faine would lie 

down.' 



Johnson's Museum, No 327, p. 337. Communicated by 
Burns. 

1 ' O WHERE hae ye been, Lord Ronald, my 

son? 

O where hae ye been, Lord Ronald, my son ? ' 
' I hae been wi my sweetheart ; mother, make 

my bed soon, 
For I 'm weary wi the hunting, and fain wad 

lie down.' 



2 ' What got ye frae your sweetheart, Lord Ron 
ald, my son ? 

What got ye frae your sweetheart, Lord Ron 
ald, my son ? ' 

' I hae got deadly poison ; mother, make my 
bed soon, 

For life is a burden that soon I '11 lay down.' 



G 

Illustrations of Northern Antiquities, p. 319. Originally 
from a clergyman's daughter, in Suffolk. 

1 ' WHERE have you been today, Billy, my son ? 
Where have you been today, my only man ? ' 
' I 've been a wooing ; mother, make my bed 

soon, 

For I'm sick at heart, and fain would lay 
down.' 

21 



2 ' What have you ate today, Billy, my son ? 
What have you ate today, my only man ? ' 
' I 've ate eel-pie ; mother, make my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick at heart, and shall die before 

noon.' 



162 



12. LORD RANDAL 



H 



Taken down by me, February, 1881, from the recitation of 
Ellen Healy, as repeated to her by a young girl at " Lacka- 
bairn," Kerry, Ireland, about 1868. 

1 ' WHERE was you all day, my own pretty boy ? 
Where was you all day, my comfort and joy ? ' 
' I was fishing and fowling ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

2 ' What did you have for your breakfast, my 

own pretty boy ? 

What did you have for your breakfast, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 

' A cup of strong poison ; mother, make my 
bed soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

3 ' I fear you are poisoned, my own pretty boy, 

I fear you are poisoned, my comfort and joy ! ' 
' yes, I am poisoned ; mother, make my bed 

soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

4 ' What will you leave to your father, my own 

pretty boy ? 

What will you leave to your father, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 

I 1 '11 leave him my house and my property ; 

mother, make my bed soon, 
There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

5 ' What will you leave to your mother, my own 

pretty boy ? 

What will you leave to your mother, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 

' I '11 leave her my coach and four horses ; 
mother, make my bed soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

6 ' What will you leave to your brother, my own 

pretty boy ? 

What will you leave to your brother, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 



' I '11 leave him my bow and my fiddle ; 

mother, make my bed soon, 
There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 

down.' 

7 ' What will you leave to your sister, my own 

pretty boy ? 
What will you leave to your sister, my comfort 

and joy ? ' 
' I '11 leave her my gold and my silver ; 

mother, make my bed soon, 
There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 

down.' 

8 ' What will you leave to your servant, my own 

pretty boy ? 

What will you leave to your servant, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 

' I '11 leave him the key of my small silver box ; 
mother, make my bed soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

9 ' What will you leave to your children, my own 

pretty boy? 

What will you leave to your children, my com 
fort and joy ? ' 

' The world is wide all round for to beg ; 
mother, make my bed soon, 

There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 
down.' 

10 ' What will you leave to your wife, my own 

pretty boy ? 
What will you leave to your wife, my comfort 

and joy ? ' 
' I '11 leave her the gallows, and plenty to hang 

her ; mother, make my bed soon, 
There 's a pain in my heart, and I mean to lie 

down.' 

11 ' Where shall I make it, my own pretty boy ? 
Where shall I make it, my comfort and joy ? ' 

' Above in the churchyard, and dig it down 

deep, 
Put a stone to my head and a flag to my 

feet, 
And leave me down easy until I '11 take a long 

sleep.' 



12. LORD RANDAL 



163 



a. Communicated by Mrs L. F. Wesselhoeft, of Boston, 
as sung to her when a child by her grandmother, Elizabeth 
Foster, born in Maine, who appears to have learned the bal 
lad of her mother about 1800. b. By a daughter of Eliza 
beth Foster, as learned about 1820. c. By Miss Ellen Mars- 
ton, of New Bedford, as learned from her mother, born 1778. 
d. By Mrs Cushing, of Cambridge, Mass., as learned in 
1838 from a schoolmate, who is thought to have derived 
it from an old nurse, e. By Mrs Augustus Lowell, of Bos 
ton, f. By Mrs Edward Atkinson, of Boston, learned of 
Mrs A. Lowell, in girlhood, g. By Mrs A. Lowell, as de 
rived from a friend. 

1 ' WHEKE have you been, Tiranti, my son ? 

where have you been, my sweet little one ? ' 
'I have been to my grandmother's ; mother, 

make my bed soon, 

For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 
down.' 

2 ' What did you have for your supper, Tiranti, 

my son ? 
What did you have for your supper, my sweet 

little one ? ' 
' I had eels fried in butter ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 

down.' 

3 ' Where did the eels come from, Tiranti, my 

son? 

Where did the eels come from, my sweet little 
one ?' 

1 From the corner of the haystack ; mother, 

make my bed soon, 

For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 
down.' 

4 ' What color were the eels, Tiranti, my son ? 
What color were the eels, my sweet little 

one?' 



' They were streaked and striped ; mother, 

make my bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to 

lie down.' 

5 ' What '11 you give to your father, Tiranti, my 

son? 

What '11 you give to your father, my sweet lit 
tle one ? ' 

' All my gold and my silver ; mother, make 
my bed soon, 

For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 
down.' 

6 ' What '11 you give to your mother, Tiranti, my 

son? 
What '11 you give to your mother, my sweet 

little one ? ' 
' A coach and six horses ; mother, make my 

bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 

down.' 

7 ' What '11 you give to your grandmother, Ti 

ranti, my son ? 
What '11 you give to your grandmother, my 

sweet little one ? ' 
1 A halter to hang her ; mother, make my bed 

soon, 
For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 

down.' 

8 ' Where '11 you have your bed made, Tiranti, 

my son ? 
Where '11 you have your bed made, my sweet 

little one ? ' 
' In the corner of the churchyard ; mother, 

make my bed soon, 
For I 'm sick to my heart, and I 'm faint to lie 

down.' 



Motherwell's MS., p. 238. From the recitation of Miss 
Maxwell, of Brediland. 

1 ' O WHABE hae ye been a' day, my bonhie wee 

croodlin dow ? 

whare hae ye been a' day, my bonnie wee 
croodlin dow ? ' 



* I 've been at my step-mother's ; oh mak my 

bed, mammie, now! 
I've been at my step-mother's; oh mak my 

bed, mammie, now ! ' 

2 ' what did ye get at your step-mother's, my 

bonnie wee croodlin dow ? ' [Twice."] 
' I gat a wee wee fishie ; oh mak my bed. mam 
mie, now! ' [Twice.] 



164 



12. LORD RANDAL 



3 ' whare gat she the wee fishie, my bonnie 

wee croodlin dow ? ' 

' In a dub before the door ; oh mak my bed, 
mammie, now 



f 



4 ' What did ye wi the wee fishie, my bonnie wee 

croodlin dow ? ' 

1 1 boild it in a wee pannie ; oh mak my bed, 
mammy, now ! ' 

5 ' Wha gied ye the banes o the fishie till, my 

bonnie wee croodlin dow ? ' 



' I gied them till a wee doggie ; oh mak my bed, 
mammie, now ! ' 

6 ' whare is the little wee doggie, my bonnie 

wee croodlin dow ? 
O whare is the little wee doggie, my bonnie 

wee croodlin doo ? ' 
' It shot out its fit and died, and sae maun I do 

too ; 
Oh mak my bed, mammy, now, now, oh mak 

my bed, mammy, now ! ' 



K 

a. Chambers' Scottish Ballads, p. 324. b. Chambers' 
Popular Rhymes of Scotland, 1842, p. 53. c. The Sten- 
house-Laing ed. of Johnson's Museum, iv, 364*, communi 
cated by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. 

1 ' O WHAUR hae ye been a' the day, my little 

wee croodlin doo ? ' 

' I 've been at my grandmother's ; mak my 
bed, mammie, now ! ' 

2 ' what gat ye at your grandmother's, my lit 

tle wee croodlin doo ? ' 

' I got a bonnie wee fishie ; mak my bed, mam 
mie, now ! ' 

3 ' whaur did she catch the fishie, my bonnie 

wee croodlin doo ? ' 



' She catchd it in the gutter hole ; mak my bed, 
mammie, now ! ' 

4 ' And what did she do wi the fish, my little wee 

croodlin doo ? ' 

' She boiled it in a brass pan ; mak my bed, 
mammie, now ! 



1 



5 'And what did ye do wi the banes o't, my 

bonnie wee croodlin doo ? ' 
' I gied them to my little dog ; mak my bed, 
mammie, now ! ' 

6 ' And what did your little doggie do, my bonnie 

wee croodlin doo ? ' 

' He stretched out his head, his feet, and deed ; 
and so will I, mammie, now ! ' . 



Buchan's MSS, n, 322 ; Ballads of the North of Scotland, 
n, 179. 

1 ' WHAR hae ye been a' the day, Willie doo, 

Willie doo ? 

Whar hae ye been a' the day, Willie, my 
doo?' 

2 ' I 've been to see my step-mother ; make my 

bed, lay me down ; 
Make my bed, lay me down, die shall I now ! ' 

3 'What got ye frae your step-mother, Willie 
v doo, Willie doo ? 

What got ye frae your step-mother, Willie, my 
doo?' 



4 ' She gae me a speckled trout ; make my bed, 

lay me down ; 
She gae me a speckled trout, die shall I now ! ' 

5 ' Whar got she the speckled trout, Willie doo, 

Willie doo ? ' 

' She got it amang the heather hills ; die shall I 
now.' 

6 ' What did she boil it in, Willie doo, Willie 

doo ? ' 
' She boild it in the billy-pot ; die shall I now ! ' 

7 ' What gaed she you for to drink, Willie doo, 

Willie doo ? 

What gaed she you for to drink, Willie, my 
doo?' 



12. LORD RANDAL 



165 



8 ' She gaed me hemlock stocks ; make my bed, 9 They made his hed, laid him down, poor Wil- 

lay me down ; lie doo, Willie doo ; 

Made in the brewing pot ; die shall I now ! ' He turnd his face to the wa ; he 'a dead now ! 



M 



Popular Rhymes of Scotland, 1870, p. 51. " Mrs Lock- 
bar t's copy." 

1 ' WHERE hae ye been a' the day, my bonny wee 

croodin doo ? ' 
' O I hae been at my stepmother's house ; make 

my bed, mammie, now, now, now, 
Make my bed, mammie, now ! ' 

2 ( Where did ye get your dinner ? ' my, etc. 
' I got it at my stepmother's ; ' make, etc. 



3 ' What did she gie ye to your dinner ? ' 
' She gae me a little four-footed fish.' 

4 ' Where got she the four-footed fish ? ' 

' She got it down in yon well strand ; ' make, 
etc. 

5 ' What did she do with the banes o't ? ' . 
' She gae them to the little dog.' 

6 ' what became o the little dog ? ' 

' O it shot out its feet and died ; ' make, etc. 



N 



Kinloch's MSS, v, 347. In Dr John Hill Burton's hand. 

1 ' FAKE hae ye been a' day, a' day, a' day, 
Fare hae ye been a' day, my little wee croud- 

lin doo ? ' 

2 ' I 've been at my step-mammie's, my step- 

mammie's, my step-mammie's, 
I 've been-at my step-mammie's ; come mack my 
beddy now ! ' 

3 ' What got ye at yer step-mammie's, 
My little wee croudlin doo ? ' 



4 ' She gied me a spreckled fishie ; 
Come mack my beddy now ! ' 

5 ' What did ye wi the baenies oet, 
My little wee croudlin doo ? ' 

6 ' I gaed them till her little dogie ; 
Come mack my beddy now ! ' 

7 ' What did her little dogie syne, 
My little wee croudlin doo ? ' 

8 ' He laid down his heed and feet ; 
And sae shall I dee now ! ' 



From a manuscript collection, copied out in 1840 or 1850, 
by a granddaughter of Alexander Fraser-Tytler, p. 67. 

1 ' WHERE hae ye been a' the day, my wee wee 

croodlin doo doo ? 
where hae ye been a' the day, my bonnie 

wee croodlin doo ? ' 
' I hae been to my step-mammie's ; mak my 

bed, mammy, noo, noo, 
Mak my bed, mammy, noo ! ' 

2 ' what did yere step-mammie gie to you ? ' 

etc. 
' She gied to me a wee wee fish,' etc. 



3 ' [0] what did she boil the wee fishie in ? ' 

' O she boiled it in a wee wee pan ; it turned 

baith black an blue, blue, 
It turned baith black an blue.' 

4 ' An what did she gie the banes o't to ? ' 

' O she gied them to a wee wee dog ; ' mak, 
etc. 

5 ' An what did the wee wee doggie do then ? ' 

' O it put out its tongue and its feet, an it 

deed ; an sae maun I do noo, noo, 
An sae maun I do noo ! ' 



166 



12. LORD RANDAL 



C. 4 2 . your father, King Henry, my son. 

I. a. I 4 , faint to, an obvious corruption of fain to, 
is found also in b, c ; d has fain wad ; e, 
faint or fain ; f , fain ; g, I faint to. 
y. B. 8 stands 5 in the MS. copy, but is the 
last stanza in all others which have it. 

b. 2 1 . for your dinner. 
After 2 follows : 

Who cooked you the eels, Tiranti, my son ? 

etc. 
't was my grandmother ; mother, make my 

bed soon, etc. 

b 5 = a 3 : *. Where did she get the eels ? etc. 

8 . By the side of the haystack, etc. 

b 6 = a 7 : 7 = a 8 : 8 = a 5. 8 4 . and die to 

lie down, 
a 6 is wanting in b. 

c. I 4 , at my heart (and always). 

2 1 . O what did she give you ? etc. 8 . Striped 
eels fried, etc. 

3 = a 4. \ O how did they look ? etc. 

8 . Ringed, streaked, and speckled, etc. 

4 = a 3. *. O where did they come from ? 
5 1 . what will you give your father, my 

son ? 

2 . O what will you give him ? 

3 . A coach and six horses. 

6 1 . O what will you give your mother, my 

son ? as in 5. 

s . All my gold and my silver. 
7 1 . O what will you give your granny ? as 

in 5. 

8 1 . where '11, etc. 
c adds, as 9 : 

So this is the end of Tiranti my son, 
So this is the end of my sweet little one : 
His grandmother poisoned him with an old 

dead snake, 
And he left her a halter to hang by the 

neck. 

d. I 1 , etc. Tyrante. 

8 . I 've been to my uncle's, etc. 
*. and fain wad lie doun. 
2 s . eels and fresh butter. 

3 = a 4. 8 . black striped with yellow. 

4 = a 7. l . What '11 ye will to your mither ? 

3 . My gold and my silver. 



5 = a 6. 1 . What '11 ye will to your father ? 

8 . My coach and my horses. 

6 = a 8. \ What '11 you will to your uncle ? 
3, 5 of a are wanting. 

e. I 4 . For I 'm sick at heart, and faint [fain] 

to lie down. 

3 = a 7. l . What will you leave your moth 
er ? 

*. A box full of jewels. 
4 1 . What will you leave your sister? 
8 . A box of fine clothing. 

5 = a 8. 3 . A rope to hang her with. 

6 = a 5. *. Where shall 1 make it ? 
3, 4 of a are wanting. 

f. This copy was derived from the singing of 

the lady who communicated e, and they 
naturally agree closely. 
I 4 , fain to lie down. f3 = e4:f4 = e3. 

g. I 4 . For I 'm sick at the heart, and I faint 

to lie down. 

2 1 . What did you get at your grandmoth 
er's ? 
8 . I got eels stewed in butter. 

3 = a 8. \ What will you leave .... 
4 1 . What will you leave to your brother ? 

8 . A full suit of mourning. 
. 5 = a 7. J . leave to your mother. 

8 . A carriage and fine horses. 
6 = a5. 

3, 4 of a are wanting. 

K. a, b, c are printed, in the publications in 
which they occur, in four-line stanzas. 
b. Omits 4. 

6 1 . the little doggie. 2 . as I do, mammie, 

noo. 

c. I 1 , my bonnie wee crooden doo : and al 
ways. 

2 . at my step-mither's. 
2. And what did scho gie you to eat . . . 

Scho gied to me a wee fishie .... 
3 1 . An what did she catch the fishie in ... 

4 is wanting. 

L. Written in the MS., and printed by Buchan, 

in stanzas of 4 lines. 
M. Printed by Chambers in stanzas of 4 lines, the 

last repeated. 
N. The second line of each stanza is written as 

two in the MS. 
O. The stanza, being written with short lines in 

the manuscript, is of seven lines, including 

the repetitions. 



13. EDWARD 



167 



13 
EDWARD 

A. a. MotherwelPs MS., p. 139. b. Motherwell's Min- B. Percy's Reliques, 1765, i, 53. Communicated by 
strelsy, p. 339. From recitation. Sir David Dalrymple. 

C. MS. of A. Laing, one stanza. 



A b, " given from the recitation of an old 
woman," is evidently A a slightly regulated 
by Motherwell. B, we are informed in the 
4th edition of the Reliques, p. 61, was sent 
Percy by Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes. 
Motherwell thought there was reason to be 
lieve " that his lordship made a few slight ver 
bal improvements on the copy he transmitted, 
and altered the hero's name to Edward, 
a name which, by the bye, never occurs in a 
Scottish ballad, except where allusion is made 
to an English king." * Dalrymple, at least, 
would not be likely to change a Scotch for an 
English name. The Bishop might doubtless 
prefer Edward to Wat, or Jopk, or even Da- 
vie. But as there is no evidence that any 
change of name was made, the point need 
not be discussed. As for other changes, the 
word " brand," in the first stanza, is possibly 
more literary than popular; further than this 
the language is entirely fit. The affectedly an 
tique spelling f in Percy's copy has given rise 
to vague suspicions concerning the authen 
ticity of the ballad, or of the language : but as 
spelling will not make an old ballad, so it will 
not unmake one. We have, but do not need, 

* An eager " Englishman " might turn Motherwell's ob 
jection to the name into an argument for ' Edward ' being an 
" English " ballad. 

t That is to say, initial quh and z for modern wh and y, 
for nothing else would have excited attention. Perhaps a 
transcriber thought he ought to give the language a look 
at least as old as Gavin Douglas, who spells quhy, dois, 
jour. The quh would serve a purpose, if understood as in 
dicating that the aspirate was not to be dropped, as it often 
is in English why. The z is the successor of }, and was 



the later traditional copy to prove the other 
genuine. 'Edward' is not only unimpeach 
able, but has ever been regarded as one of 
the noblest and most sterling specimens of 
the popular ballad. 

Motherwell seems to incline to regard ' Ed 
ward ' rather as a detached portion of a ballad 
than as complete in itself. " The verses of 
which it consists," he says, " generally con 
clude the ballad of ' The Twa Brothers,' and 
also some versions of ' Lizie Wan : ' " Min 
strelsy, LXVII, 12. The Finnish parallel 
which Motherwell refers to, might have con 
vinced him that the ballad is complete as it 
is ; and he knew as well as anybody that one 
ballad is often appended to another by reciters, 
to lengthen the story or improve the conclu 
sion 4 More or less of ' Edward ' will be found 
in four versions of ' The Twa Brothers ' and 
two of ' Lizie Wan,' further on in this vol 
ume. 

This ballad has been familiarly known to 
have an exact counterpart in Swedish. There 
are four versions, differing only as to length : 
' Sven i Rosengard,' A, Afzelius, No 67, ill, 
4, eleven two-line stanzas, with three more 

meant to be pronounced y, as z is, or was, pronounced in 
gaberlunzie and other Scottish words. See Dr J. A. H. Mur 
ray's Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland, pp. 118, 
129. Since quh and z serve rather as rocks of offence than 
landmarks, I have thought it best to use wh and y. 

\ Motherwell also speaks of a ballad of the same nature 
as quoted in Werner's ' Twenty-Fourth of February.' The 
stanza cited (in Act I, Scene 1) seems to be Herder's trans 
lation of ' Edward ' given from memory. 



168 



13. EDWARD 



lines of burden ; B, in, 3, six stanzas (Berg- 
strom's ed., No 54, 1,2); C, Arwidsson, No 
87 A, n, 83, eighteen stanzas ; D, No 87 B, 
II, 86, sixteen stanzas. The same in Danish : 
A, Grundtvig, Engelske og skotske Folke- 
viser, p. 175, nine stanzas ; B, Boisen, Nye 
og gamle Viser, 10th ed., No 95, p. 185, 
4 Brodermordet.' And in Finnish, probably 
derived from the Swedish, but with traits of 
its own: A, Schroter's Finnische Runen, p. 
124, * Werinen Pojka,' The Bloodstained Son, 
fifteen two-line stanzas, with two lines of re 
frain; B, ' Velisurmaaja,' Brother-Murderer, 
Kanteletar, p. x, twenty stanzas. 
/, All these are a dialogue between mother 
' and son, with a question and answer in each 
stanza. The mother asks, Where have you 
been ? The son replies that he has been in 
the stable [Danish, grove, fields ; Finnish A, 
on the sea-strand]. " How is it that your foot 
is bloody ? " * [clothes, shirt ; Finnish, " How 
came your jerkin muddy?" etc.] A horse 
has kicked or trod on him. " How came your 
sword so bloody ? " He then confesses that he 
has killed his brother. [Swedish D and the 
Danish copies have no question about the foot, 
etc.] Then follows a series of questions as to 
what the son will do with himself, and what 
shall become of his wife, children, etc., which 
are answered much as in the English ballad. 
Finally, in all, the mother asks when he will 
come back, and he replies (with some varia 
tions), When crows are white. And that will 
be ? When swans are black. And that ? 
When stones float. And that ? When feath 
ers sink, etc. This last feature, stupidly ex 
aggerated in some copies, and even approach 
ing burlesque, is one of the commonplaces of 
ballad poetry, and may or may not have been, 

* We have a similar passage in most of the copies of the 
third class of the German ballads corresponding to No 4. A 
brother asks the man who has killed his sister why his shoes 
[sword, hands] are bloody. See p. 36, p. 38. So in ' Herr 
Axel,' Arwidsson, No 46, i, 308. 

t These have perhaps been adapted to the stanza of ' The 



from the beginning, a part of the ballads in 
which it occurs. Such a conclusion could not 
be made to adhere to ' Edward,' the last stanza 
of which is peculiar in implicating the mother 
in the guilt of the murder. Several versions 
of * The Twa Brothers ' preserve this trait, and 
' Lizie Wan ' also. 

The stanza of this ballad was originally, in 
all probability, one of two lines a question 
and an answer with refrains, as we find it 
in A 10, 11, 12, and the corresponding Swed 
ish and Finnish ballad ; and in ' Lord Randal,' 
J, K, etc., and also the corresponding Swedish 
and German ballad. A 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 are 
now essentially stanzas of one line, with re 
frains ; that is, the story advances in these at 
that rate. A 4, 7 (= C) are entirely irregu 
lar, substituting narrative or descriptive cir 
cumstances for the last line of the refrain, 
and so far forth departing from primitive sim- 
plicity.f The stanza in B embraces always 
a question and a reply, but for what is re 
frain in other forms of the ballad we have 
epical matter in many cases./,>A 1, 2, sub 
stantially, = B 1 ; A 3, 4 ="B 2 ; A 5, 6 = 
B3; A 8, 9 = B 4 ; A 11 = 6 ; A 12 =7. 

Testaments such as this ballad ends with 
have been spoken of under No 11. 

A is translated by Grundtvig, Engelske og 
skotske Folkeviser, No 26, p. 172 ; by Rosa 
Warrens, Schottische V. L., No 21, p. 96 ; by 
Wolff, Halle des Volker, I, 22,' and Haus- 
schatz, p. 223. B, in Afzelius, in, 10 ; " often 
in Danish," Grundtvig ; by Herder, Volkslie- 
der, n, 207 ; by Doring, p. 217 ; Gerhard, p. 
88; Knortz, Schottische Balladen, No 27. 
Swedish A, by W. and M. Howitt, Literature 
and Romance of Northern Europe, I, 263.$ 

Twa Brothers,' with some versions of which, as already re 
marked, the present ballad is blended. 

I With regard to translations, I may say now, what I 
might well have said earlier, that I do not aim at making a 
complete list, but give such as have fallen under my notice. 



13. EDWARD 



169 



a. Motherwell's MS., p. 139. From Mrs King, Kilbar- 
chan. b. Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 339. 

1 ' WHAT bluid 's that on thy coat lap, 

Son Davie, son Davie ? 
What bluid 's that on thy coat lap ? 
And the truth come tell to me.' 

2 ' It is the bluid of my great hawk, 

Mother lady, mother lady : 
It is the bluid of my great hawk, 
And the truth I have told to thee.' 

3 ' Hawk's bluid was neer sae red, 

Son Davie, son Davie : 
Hawk's bluid was neer sae red, 
And the truth come tell to me.' 

4 ' It is the bluid of my greyhound, 

Mother lady, mother lady : 

It is the bluid of my greyhound, 

And it wadna rin for me.' 

5 ' Hound's bluid was neer sae red, 

Son Davie, son Davie : 
. Hound's bluid was neer sae red, 
And the truth come tell to me.' 

6 ' It is the bluid o my brither John, 

Mother lady, mother lady : 



It is the bluid o my brither John, 
And the truth I have told to thee.' 

7 ' What about did the plea begin, 

Son Davie, son Davie ? ' 

' It began about the cutting of a willow wand 
That would never been a tree.' 

8 ' What death dost thou desire to die, 

Son Davie, son Davie ? 
What death dost thou desire to die ? 
And the truth come tell to me.' 

9 ' I '11 set my foot in a bottomless ship, 

Mother lady, mother lady : 
I '11 set my foot in a bottomless ship, 
And ye '11 never see mair o me.' 

10 ' What wilt thou leave to thy poor wife, 

Son. Davie, son Davie ? ' 
' Grief and sorrow all her life, 
And she '11 never see mair o me.' 

11 ' What wilt thou leave to thy old son, 

Son Davie, son Davie ? ' 
' I '11 leave him the weary world to wander up 

and down, 
And he '11 never get mair o me.' 

12 ' What wilt thou leave to thy mother dear, 

Son Davie, son Davie ? ' 
' A fire o coals to' burn her, wi hearty cheer, 
And she '11 never get mair o me.' 



B 



Percy's Keliques, 1765, i, 53. Communicated by Sir 
David Dalrymple. 

1 ' WHY dois your brand sae drap wi bluid, 

Edward, Edward, 
Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid, 

And why sae sad gang yee O ? ' 
' I hae killed my hauke sae guid, 

Mither, mither, 
I hae killed my hauke sae guid, 

And I had nae mair bot hee 0.' 

2 ' Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 

Edward, Edward, 

Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 
My deir son I tell thee O.' 
22 



; I hae killed my reid-roan steid, 

Mither, mither, 
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid, 

That erst was sae fair and frie O.' 

3 ' Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair, 

Edward, Edward, 
Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair, 

Sum other dule ye drie O.' 
' O I hae killed my f adif deir, 

Mither, mither, 
O I hae killed my fadir deir, 

Alas, and wae is mee O ! ' 

4 ' And whatten penance wul ye drie, for that, 

Edward, Edward ? 



170 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 



And whatten penance will ye drie for that? 

My deir son, now tell me O.' 
' He set my feit in yonder boat, 

Mither, mither, 
He set my feit in yonder boat, 

And He fare ovir the sea 0.' 

5 ' And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and 

your ha, 

Edward, Edward ? 

And what wul ye doe wi your towirs and your 
ha, 

That were sae fair to see ? ' 
' He let thame stand tul they doun fa, 

Mither, mither, 
lie let thame stand tul they doun fa, 

For here nevir mair maun I bee O.' 

6 ' And what wul ye leive to your bairns and 

your wife, 

Edward, Edward ? 



And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your 
wife, 

Whan ye gang ovir the sea O ? ' 
* The warldis room, late them beg thrae life, 

Mither, mither, 

The warldis room, late them beg thrae life, 
For thame nevir mair wul I see O.' 

7 ' And what wul ye leive to your ain mither 
deir, 

Edward, Edward? 

And what wul ye leive to your ain mither 
deir? 

My deir son, now tell me 0.' 
1 The curse of hell frae me sail ye beir, 
Mither, mither, 
The curse of hell frae me sail ye beir, 

Sic counseils ye gave to me O.' 



c 



MS. of Alexander Laing, 1829, p. 25. 

O WHAT did the fray begin about ? 
My son, come tell to me : ' 



' It began about the breaking o the bonny hazel 

wand, 
A<nd a penny wad hae bought the tree.' 



A. b. 1*. tell to me 0. And so every fourth line. B. Initial qufor w and zfor y have been changed 

7 4 . That would never hae been a tree 0. throughout to w and y. 

10 4 . And she '11 never get mair frae me O. 6 7 . let. 

II 8 . The weary warld to wander up and 
down. 



14 

BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 

A. a, b. 'Babylon; or, The Bonnie Banks o Fordie,' C. Motherwell's MS., p. 172. 
Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 88. c. The same, Ap 
pendix, p. xxii, No xxvi. D. Motherwell's MS., p. 174. 

B. a. Herd's MSS, i, 38, n, 76. b. ' The Banishd E. ' Duke of Perth's Three Daughters/ Kinloch's An- 
Man,' The Scots Magazine, October, 1803, p. 699, cient Scottish Ballads, p. 212. 

evidently derived from Herd. 



14. BABYLON; OE, THE BONNIE BANKS O FOEDIE 



171 



B a is from tradition of the latter half of 
the eighteenth century ; the other copies from 
the earlier part of this. 

Three sisters go out (together, A, B, C, suc 
cessively, D, B) to gather flowers (A, B, B). 
A banished man (outlyer bold, D, London 
lord, B) starts up from a hiding-place, and 
offers them one after the other the choice of 
being his wife or dying by his hand. 

(A.) ' It 's whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee penknife ? ' 

(D.) ' Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy 
sweet life ? ' 

The first and the second express a simple 
preference for death, and are killed and laid 
by, "to bear the red rose company" (A). 
The youngest, in A, says s*he has a brother in 
the wood, who will kill him if he kills her. 
The outlaw, asks the brother's name, finds that 
he himself is the man, and takes his own life 
with the same weapon that had shed the blood 
of his sisters. B, C, D have three brothers, 
the youngest of whom is the banished lord 
(C), the outlyer bold (D). The story is de 
fective in B, C. In D the outlaw, on finding 
what he has done, takes a long race, and falls 
on his knife. The conclusion of 33 is not so 
finely tragic. A brother John comes riding 
by just as the robber is about to kill the third 
sister, apprehends him by the agency of h.is 
three pages, and reserves him to be hanged on 
a tree, 

Or thrown into the poisond lake, 
To feed the toads and rattle-snake. 

According to the account given by Herd, 
and repeated by Jamieson, the story of the 
lost conclusion of B made the banished man 
discover that he had killed his two brothers as 
well as his two sisters. 

This ballad, with additional circumstances, 
is familiar to all branches of the. Scandinavian 
race. 

Danish. There are many versions from 
oral tradition, as yet unprinted, besides these 
two : A, ' Hr. Truels's D0ttre,' Danske Viser, 



in, 392,^ No 164, there reprinted from Sand- 
vig, Beskrivelse over 0en M0en, 1776 : B, 
' Herr Thors B0rn,' from recent tradition of 
North Sleswig, Berggreen, Danske Folke- 
Sange, 3d ed., p. 88, No 42. 

A. Herr Truels' three daughters oversleep 
their matins one morning, and are roused by 
their mother. If we have overslept our mat 
ins, they say, we will make up at high mass. 
They set out for church, and in a wood fall in 
with three robbers, who say : 

' Whether will ye be three robbers' wives, 
Or will ye rather lose your lives ? ' 

Much rather death, say they. The two elder 
sisters submitted to their fate without a word ; 
the third made a hard resistance. With her 
last breath she adjured the robbers to seek 
a lodging at Herr Truels' that night. This 
they did. They drank so long that they 
drank Herr Truels to bed. Then they asked 
his wife to promise herself to all three. First, 
she said, she must look into their bags. In 
their bags she saw her daughters' trinkets. 
She excused herself for a moment, barred the 
door strongly, roused her husband, and made 
it known to him that these guests had killed 
his three daughters. Herr Truels called on 
all his men to arm. He asked the robbers 
who was their father. They said that they 
had been stolen by robbers, on their way to 
school, one day ; had had a hard life for four 
teen years ; and the first crime they had com 
mitted was killing three maids yesterday. 
Herr Truels revealed to them that they had 
murdered their sisters, and offered them new 
clothes, in which they might go away. " Nay," 
they said, " not so ; life for life is meet." 
They were taken out of the town, and their 
heads struck off. B differs from A in only a 
few points. The robbers ask lodging at Herr 
Thor's, as being pilgrims. When he discovers 
their true character, he threatens them with 
the wheel. They say, Shall we come to the 
wheel? Our father drinks Yule with the 
king. They tell him their story, and their 
father offers them saddle and horse to make 
their best way off. They reply, " We will 



172 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 



give blood for blood," spread their cloaks on 
the floor, and let their blood run. 

Swedish. 'Pehr Tyrsons Dottrar i 
Wange.' A, Arwidsson, n, 413, No 166. B, 
Afzelius, ni, 193, No 98 : ed. Bergstrom, I, 
380, No 84, i. C, Afzelius, ill, 197 : ed. Berg 
strom, I, 382, No 84, 2, as old as the last half 
of the seventeenth century. D, Afzelius, m, 
202 : ed. Bergstrom, i, 384, No 84, 3. E, " C. 
J. Wesson, De paroecia Kama (an academical 
dissertation), Upsala, 1836," Arwidsson, as 
above, who mentions another unprinted copy 
in the Royal Library. 

A. Herr Tores' daughters overslept matins, 
dressed themselves handsomely, and set off for 
mass. All on the heath they were met by 
three wood-robbers, who demanded, Will ye 
be our wives, or lose your lives ? The first 
answered : God save us from trying either ! 
the second, Rather let us range the world ! 
the third, Better death with honor ! But 

First were they the three wood-robbers' wives, 
And after that they lost their young lives. 

The robbers strip them; then go and ask to be 
taken in by Herr Tores. He serves them with 
mead and wine, but presently begins to wish 
his daughters were at home. His wife sees 
him to bed ; then returns to her guests, who 
offer her a silken sark to pass the night with 
them. " Give me a sight of the silken sark," 
she cries, with prophetic soul : " God have 
mercy on my daughters ! " She rouses her 
husband, and tells him that the robbers have 
slain his bairns. He puts on his armor and 
kills two of them : the third begs to be spared 
till he can say who were his kin ; his father's 
name is Tores! Father and mother resolve 
to build a church for penance, and it shall be 
called Kerna. B, C, D. The girls meet three 
" vallare," strolling men, and none of them 
good (C). The robbers cut off the girls' heads 
on the trunk of a birch (cf . English C 5 : " It 's 
lean your head upon my staff," and with his 
pen-knife he has cutted it aff) : three springs 

* Lyngbye insists on translating vadlarar pilgrims, though 
his people understood the word to mean robbers. He refers 
to the Icelandic vallari, which, originally a pilgrim, came to 
mean a tramp. No one can fail to recognize the character 



burst forth immediately. They go to the 
house, and ask the mother if she will buy 
silken sarks that nine maids have stitched 
(B). She says : 

' Open your sacks, and let me see : 
Mayhap I shall know them all three.' 

The father, in B, when he discovers that he 
has slain his own sons, goes to the smith, and 
has an iron band fastened round his middle. 
The parents vow to build a church as an ex 
piation, and it shall be called Kerna (B, C). 

Faroe. ' Torkilds Riim, eller St. Catha- 
rinae Vise,' Lyngbye, Fser0iske Qvaeder, -||. 
In this form of the story, as in the Icelandic 
versions which follow, the robbers are not the 
brothers of the maids. Torkild's two daugh 
ters sleep till the sun shines on their beds. 
Their father wakens them, and tells Katrine 
she is waited for at church. Katrine dresses 
herself splendidly, but does not disdain to sad 
dle her own horse. 

And since no knave was ready to help, 
Katrine bridled the horse herself. 

And since no knave was standing about, 
Herself put the bit in her horse's mouth. 

First she came upon three strollers (vadla 
rar *), then two, then one, and the last asked 
her whether she would pass the night with 
bun (vera qvoldar vujv) or die. He cut off 
her head, and wherever her blood ran a light 
kindled ; where her head fell a spring welled 
forth : where her body lay a church was [af 
terwards] built. The rover came to Torkild's 
house, and the father asked if he had seen 
Katrine. He said she had been at Mary kirk 
the day before, and asked for a lodging, 
feigning to be sick. This was readily granted. 
He went to bed, and Aasa, the other sister, 
waited upon him. He offered her a silken 
sark to sleep with him. Aasa asked to see the 
sark first, and found on it her sister's mark. 

who has become the terror of our rural districts, and to 
whom, in our preposterous regard for the rights of " man," 
we sacrifice the peace, and often the lives, of women. 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 



173 



The fellow went on to offer her a blue cloak 
and gold crown successively, and on both of 
these she saw her sister's mark. Aasa bade 
him good-night, went to her father, and told 
him that the man they had housed had killed 
his daughter. Torkild ordered his swains 
to light a pile in the wood : early the next 
morning they burned the murderer on it. 

Icelandic. Five Icelandic versions, and the 
first stanza of two more, are given in Islenzk 
FornkvseSi, I, 108 ff, No 15, ' Vallara kvaeSi.' 

The story is nearly the same as in the Faroe 
ballad. Two of Thorkell's daughters sleep 
till after the sun is up (B, C). They wash 
and dress ; they set out for church (C). On 
the heath they encounter a strolling man, A ; a 
tall, large man, C, B ; a horseman or knight, D. 
He greets them : " Why will ye not speak ? 
Are ye come of elves, or of kings them 
selves ? " A [Are ye come of earls, or of 
beggar-churls? B]. They answer, We are 
not come of elves, nor of kings themselves; 
we are Thorkell's daughters, and serve Mary 
kirk. He asks, Will ye choose to lose your 
life, or shall I rather take you to wife ? 
The choice, they say, is hard : they would 
rather die. He kills them and buries them. 
At night he goes to Thorkell's house, where 
Asa is alone. He knocks to be let in ; Asa 
refuses ; he draws the latch with his deft 
fingers (A, C, D). He offers Asa a silken 
sark to sleep with him [and a blue cloak to. 
say nothing, A], She asked to see the sark* 
and knew her sisters' work, begged him to 
wait a moment, went to her father, and told 
him that the murderer of his daughters was 



there. Thorkell dashed his harp to the floor 
[and kicked over the table, D, B]. The mur 
derer in the morning was hanged like a dog, 
A, B. [Thorkell tore at his hair and cut 
him down with an elder-stock, C ; they fought 
three days, and on the fourth the villain was 
hanged in a strap, E, the knight was hang 
ing like a dog, D] . A miraculous light burned 
over the place where the maids had been 
buried, A 16, C 27, D 24, B 12. When their 
bodies were taken into the church, the bells 
rang of themselves, D. 

Norwegian versions of this ballad have 
been obtained from tradition, but none as yet 
have been published. 

" The mains and burn of Fordie, the banks 
of which are very beautiful," says Aytoun (l, 
159), " lie about six miles to the east of Dun- 
keld." Tradition has connected the story 
with half a dozen localities in Sweden, and, 
as Professor Grundtvig informs me, with at 
least eight places in the different provinces of 
Denmark. The Kerna church of the Swedish 
ballads, not far from Linkoping (Afzelius), 
has been popularly supposed to derive its name 
from a Catharina, Karin, or Kama, killed by 
her own brother, a wood-robber, near its site. 
See Afzelius, ed. Bergstrom, II, 329 ff : Danske 
Viser, in, 444 f . 

A is translated by Grundtvig, Engelske 
og skotske Folkeviser, No 34, p. 216, and, 
with some slight use of Aytoun, I, 160, by 
Rosa Warrens, Schottische Volkslieder der 
Vorzeit, No 18, p. 85. Danish A, by Prior, 
m, 252. 



a. Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 88. b. The same. c. The 
same, Appendix, p. xxii, No xxvi, apparently from South 
Perthshire. 

1 THERE were three ladies lived in a bower, 

Eh vow bonnie 

And they went out to pull a flower. 
On the bonnie banks o Fordie 

2 They hadna pu'ed a flower but ane, 
When up started to them a banisht man. 



3 He 's taen the first sister by her hand, 

And he 's turned her round and made her 
stand. 

4 ' It 's whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? ' 

5 ' It 's I '11 not be a rank robber's wife, 
But I '11 rather die by your wee pen-knife.' 

6 He 's killed this may, and he 's laid her by, 
For to bear the red rose company. 



174 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 



7 He 's taken the second ane by the hand, 

And he 's turned her round and made her 
stand. 

8 ' It 's whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? ' 

9 ' I '11 not be a rank robber's wife, 

But I '11 rather die by your wee pen-knife.' 

10 He 's killed this may, and he 's laid her by, 
For to bear the red rose company. 

11 He 's taken the youngest ane by the hand, 
And he 's turned her round and made her 

stand. 

12 Says, ' Will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? ' 



13 ' I '11 not be a rank robber's wife, 
Nor will I die by your wee pen-knife. 

14 ' For I hae a brother in this wood. 
And gin ye kill me, it 's he '11 kill thee.' 

15 ' What 's thy brother's name ? come tell to 

me.' 
' My brother's name is Baby Lon.' 

16 ' sister, sister, what have I done ! 
O have I done this ill to thee ! 

17 ' since I 've done this evil deed, 
Good sail never be seen o me.' 

18 He 's taken out his wee pen-knife, 

And he 's twyned himsel o his ain sweet life. 



B 



a. Herd's MSS. i, 38, n, 76. b. The Scots Magazine, 
Oct., 1803, p. 699, communicated by Jamieson, and evidently 
from Herd's copy. 

1 THERE wond three ladies in a bower, 

Annet and Margret and Marjorie 
And they have gane out to pu a flower. 

And the dew it lyes on the wood, gay ladie 

2 They had nae pu'd a flower but ane, 
When up has started a banished man. 

3 He has taen the eldest by the hand, 

He has turned her about and bade her stand. 

4 ' Now whether will ye be a banisht man's wife, 
Or will ye be sticked wi my pen-knife ? ' 

5 ' I will na be ca'd a banished man's wife, 
I '11 rather be sticked wi your pen-knife.' 

6 And he has taen out his little pen-knife, 
And frae this lady he has taen the life. 



7 He has taen the second by the hand, 

He has turned her about and he bad her stand. 

8 ' Now whether will ye be a banisht man's wife, 
Or will ye be sticked wi my pen-knife ? ' 

9 ' I will na be ca'd a banished man's wife ; 
I '11 rather be sticked wi your pen-knife.' 

10 And he has taen out his little pen-knife, 
And frae this lady he has taen the life. 

11 He has taen the youngest by the hand, 

He has turned her about and he bad her stand. 

12 ' Now whether will ye be a banished man's 

wife, 
Or will ye be sticked wi my pen-knife ? ' 

13 ' I winnae be called a banished man's wife, 
Nor yet will I be sticked wi your pen-knife. 

14 ' But gin my three brethren had been here, 
Ye had nae slain my sisters dear.' 

***** 



9 ' I '11 rather consent to lose my life 
Before 1 11 be a banished lord's wife.' 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 175 

o 

Motherwell's MS., p. 172. From J. Goldie, March, 1825. 

1 THERE were three sisters on a road, 10 ' It 's lean your head upon my staff,' 

Gilly flower gentle rosemary And with his pen-knife he has cutted it aff. 

And there they met a banished lord. 

And the dew it hings over the mulberry tree 11 He flang her in amang the broom, 

Saying, ' Lie ye there till another ane come.' 

2 The eldest sister was on the road, 

And there she met with the banished lord. 



3 ' O will ye consent to lose your life, 
Or will ye be a banished lord's wife ? ' 

4 ' I '11 rather consent to lose my life 
Before I '11 be a banished lord's wife.' 

5 ' It 's lean your head upon my staff,' 

And with his pen-knife he has cutted it aff. 

6 He flang her in amang the broom, 

Saying, ( Lye ye there till another ane come.' 

7 The second sister was on the road, 

And there she met with the banished lord. 

8 ' will ye consent to lose your life, 
Or will ye be a banished lord's wife ? ' 



12 The youngest sister was on the road, 
And there she met with the banished lord. 

13 ' O will ye consent to lose your life, 
Or will ye be a banished lord's wife ? ' 

14 ' if my three brothers were here, 
Ye durstna put me in such a fear.' 

15 ' What are your three brothers, altho they were 

here, 
That I durstna put you in such a fear ? ' 

16 ' My eldest brother 's a belted knight, 
The second, he 's a . . . 

17 ' My youngest brother 's a banished lord, 
And oftentimes he walks on this road.' 



Motherwell's MS., p. 174. From the recitation of Agnes 
Lyle, Kilbarchan, July 27, 1825. 

1 THERE were three sisters, they lived in a 

bower, 

Sing Anna, sing Margaret, sing Marjorie 
The youngest o them was the fairest flower. 
And the dew goes thro the wood, gay ladie 

2 The oldest of them she 's to the wood gane, 
To seek a braw leaf and to bring it hame. 

3 There she met with an outlyer bold, 

Lies many long nights in the woods so cold. 

4 ' Istow a maid, or istow a wife ? 

Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy 
sweet life ? ' 

5 ' kind sir, if I hae 't at my will, 

I '11 twinn with my life, keep my maidenhead 
still.' 



6 He 's taen out his we pen-knife, 

He 's twinned this young lady of her sweet life 



7 He wiped his knife along the dew ; 

But the more he wiped, the redder it grew. 

8 The second of them she 's to the wood gane, 
To seek her old sister, and to bring her hame. 

9 There she met with an outlyer bold, 

Lies many long nights in the woods so cold. 

10 ' Istow a maid, or istow a wife ? 

Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy 
sweet life ? ' 

11 ' O kind sir, if I hae 't at my will, 

I '11 twinn with my life, keep my maidenhead 
still.' 

12 He 's taen out his we pen-knife, 

He 's twinned this young lady of her sweet life. 



176 



14. BABYLON; OR, THE BONNIE BANKS O FORDIE 



13 He wiped his knife along the dew ; 

But the more he wiped, the redder it grew. 



18 ' Pray, what may thy three brethren he, 
That I durst na mak so hold with thee ? ' 



14 The youngest of them she 's to the wood gane, 19 ' The eldest o them is a minister hred, 



To seek her two sisters, and to bring them 
hame. 

15 There she met with an outlyer bold, 

Lies many long nights in the woods so cold. 

16 ' Istow a maid, or istow a wife ? 

Wiltow twinn with thy maidenhead, or thy 
sweet life ? ' 

17 ' If my three brethren they were here, 

Such questions as these thou durst nae speer.' 



He teaches the people from evil to good. 

20 ' The second o them is a ploughman good, 
He ploughs the land for his livelihood. 

21 ' The youngest of them is an outlyer bold, 
Lies many a long night in the woods so 

cold.' 

22 He stuck his knife then into the ground, 
He took a long race, let himself fall on. 



E 



Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 212. From Mearns- 
shire. 

1 THE Duke o Perth had three daughters, 

Elizabeth, Margaret, and fair Marie ; 
And Elizabeth 's to the greenwud gane, 
To pu the rose and the fair lilie. 

2 But she hadna pu'd a rose, a rose, 

A double rose, but barely three, 
Whan up and started a Loudon lord, 
Wi Loudon hose, and Loudon sheen. 

3 ' Will ye be called a robber's wife ? 

Or will ye be stickit wi my bloody knife ? 
For pu'in the rose and the fair lilie, 
For pu'in them sae fair and free.' 

4 ' Before I '11 be called a robber's wife, 

I '11 rather be stickit wi your bloody knife, 
For pu'in,' etc. 

5 Then out he 's tane his little pen-knife, 
And he 's parted her and her sweet life, 
And thrown her oer a bank o brume, 
There never more for to be found. 

6 The Duke o Perth had three daughters, 

Elizabeth, Margaret, and fair Marie ; 
And Margaret 's to the greenwud gane, 
To pu the rose and the fair lilie. 



7 She hadna pu'd a rose, a rose, 

A double rose, but barely three, 
When up and started a Loudon lord, 
Wi Loudon hose, and Loudon sheen. 

8 ' Will ye be called a robber's wife ? 

Or will ye be stickit wi my bloody knife ? 
For pu'in/ etc. 

9 ' Before I '11 be called a robber's wife, 

I '11 rather be stickit wi your bloody knife, 
For pu'in,' etc. 

10 Then out he 's tane his little pen-knife, 
And he 's parted her and her sweet life, 
For pu'in, etc. 

11 The Duke o Perth had three daughters, 

Elizabeth, Margaret, and fair Marie ; 
And Mary 's to the greenwud gane, 
To pu the rose and the fair lilie. 

12 She hadna pu'd a rose, a rose, 

A double rose, but barely three, 
When up and started a Loudon lord, 
Wi Loudon hose, and Loudon sheen. 

13 ' O will ye be called a robber's wife ? 

Or will ye be stickit wi my bloody knife ? 
For pu'in,' etc. 

14 ' Before I '11 be called a robber's wife, 

I '11 rather be stickit wi your bloody knife, 
For pu'in,' etc. 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



177 



15 But just as he took out his knife, 
To tak frae her her ain sweet life, 
Her brother John cam ryding bye, 
And this bloody robber he did espy. 

16 But when he saw his sister fair, 
He kennd her by her yellow hair ; 
He calld upon his pages three, 
To find this robber speedilie. 



17 ' My sisters twa that are dead and gane, 
For whom we made a heavy maene, 

It 's you that 's twinnd them o their life, 
And wi your cruel bloody knife. 

18 ' Then for their life ye sair shall dree ; 
Ye sail be hangit on a tree, 

Or thrown into the poisond lake, 
To feed the toads and rattle-snake.' 



A. a. " Given from two copies obtained from reci 
tation, which differ but little from each other. 
Indeed, the only variation is in the verse 
where the outlawed brother unweetingly slays 

, his sister." [19.] Motherwell. 

b. 19. He 's taken out his wee penknife, 

Hey how bonnie 

And he 's twined her o her ain sweet life. 
On the, etc. 

c. The first stanza only : 

There were three sisters livd in a bower, 
Fair Annet and Margaret and Marjorie 

And they went out to pu a flower. 

And the dew draps off the hyndberry tree 

B. a. " To a wild melancholy old tune not in any 

collection." 

" N. B. There are a great many other verses 
which I could not recover. Upon describing 



C. 



D. 



her brothers, the banished man finds that he 

has killed his two brothers and two sisters, 

upon which he kills himself." Herd. 

2 2 . MS. Quhen. 4 1 , 4 2 , 5 2 , 12 1 , 12 2 , 13 2 , 14 2 . 
ye, your, yet, MS. ze, zour, zet. 8, 9, 10 
are not written out. 
b. " Of this I have got only 14 stanzas, but 

there are many more. It is a horrid story. 

The banished man discovers that he has killed 

two of his brothers and his three (?) sisters, 

upon which he kills himself." Jamieson. 

The first two stanzas only are cited by Jamieson. 

I 1 , three sisters. 2 2 . up there started. 
7-11 and 12 2 are not written out in the MS. 

" Repeat as to the second sister, mutatis mu 
tandis." Motherwell. 

9-13 are not written out in the MS. " Same 
as 1st sister." Motherwell. 

14 2 . bring her. 

15, 16 are not written out. " Same as 1st and 
2d sisters, but this additional, viz'." M. 

22 2 . longe, or large ? 



15 

LEESOME BRAND 



A. ' Leesome Brand.' a. Buchan's Ballads of the North 
of Scotland, i, 38. b. Motherwell's MS., p. 626. 



B. ' The Broom blooms bonnie,' etc., Motherwell's MS., 
p. 365. 



THIS is one of the cases in which a remark 
ably fine ballad has been worse preserved in 
Scotland than anywhere else. Without light 
from abroad we cannot fully understand even 
so much as we have saved, and with this light 
comes a keen regret for what we have lost. 

23 



A, from Bubhan's Ballads of the North of 
Scotland, is found also in Motherwell's MS., 
but without doubt was derived from Buchan. 
Though injured by the commixture of foreign 
elements, A has still much of the original 
story. B has, on the contrary, so little that 



178 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



distinctively and exclusively belongs to this 
story that it might almost as well have been 
put with the following ballad, ' Sheath and 
Knife,' as here. A third ballad, ' The Birth 
of Robin Hood,' preserves as much of the 
story as A, but in an utterly incongruous and 
very modern setting, being, like ' Erlinton,' 
C, forced into an absurd Robin Hood frame 
work. 

The mixture of four-line with two-line 
stanzas in A of course comes from different 
ballads having been blended, but for all that, 
these ballads might have had the same theme. 
Stanzas 33-35, however, are such as we meet 
with in ballads of the ' Earl Brand ' class, but 
not in those of the class to which ' Leesome 
Brand ' belongs. In the English ballads, and 
nearly all the Danish, of the former class, 
there is at least a conversation between son 
and mother [father], whereas in the other the 
catastrophe excludes such a possibility. Again, 
the " unco land " in the first stanza, " where 
winds never blew nor cocks ever crew," is at 
least a reminiscence of the paradise depicted 
in the beginning of many of the versions of 
' Ribold and Guldborg,' and stanza 4 of ' Lee- 
some Brand ' closely resembles stanza 2 of 
* Earl Brand,' A.* Still, the first and fourth 
stanzas suit one ballad as well as the other, 
which is not true of 33-35. 

The name Leesome Brand may possibly be 
a corruption of Hildebrand, as Earl Brand 
almost certainly is ; but a more likely origin 
is the Gysellannd of one of the kindred Dan 
ish ballads. 

The white hind, stanzas 28, 30, is met with 
in no other ballad of this class, and, besides 
this, the last four stanzas are in no kind of 
keeping with what goes before, for the " young 
son " is spoken of as having been first brought 
home at some previous period. Grundtvig has 
suggested that the hind and the blood came 
from a lost Scottish ballad resembling ' The 
Maid Transformed into a Hincl,' D. g. F, No 
58. In this ballad a girl begs her brother, 
who is going hunting, to spare the little hind 
that " plays before his foot." The brother 

* And also stanza 3 of Buchan's ' Fairy Knight,' ' The 
Elfin Knight/ D, p. 17 of this volume, which runs : 



nevertheless shoots the hind, though not mor 
tally, and sets to work to flay it, in which 
process he discovers his sister under the hind's 
hide. His sister tells him that she had been 
successively changed into a pair of scissors, a 
sword, a hare, a hind, by her step-mother, and 
that she was not to be free of the spell until 
she had drunk of her brother's blood. Her 
brother at once cuts his fingers, gives her some 
of his blood, and the girl is permanently re 
stored to her natural shape, and afterwards is 
happily married. Stanzas similar to 3641 of 
A and 12-16 of B will be found in the ballad 
which follows this, to which they are especially 
well suited by their riddling character ; and I 
believe that they belong there, and not here. 
It is worthy of remark, too, that there is a 
hind in another ballad, closely related to No 
16 (' The Bonny Hind '), and that the hind 
in 4 Leesome Brand ' may, in some way not 
now explicable, have come from this. The 
confounding of ' Leesome Brand ' with a bal 
lad of the ' Bonny Hind ' class would be par 
alleled in Danish, for in ' Redselille og Me- 
delvold' T (and perhaps I, see Grundtvig's 
note, V, 237), the knight is the lady's brother. 

The " auld son " in B, like the first bring 
ing home of the young son in A 45, 47, shows 
how completely the proper story has been lost 
sight of. There should be no son of any de 
scription at the point at which this stanza 
comes in, and auld son should everywhere be 
young son. The best we can do, to make 
sense of stanza 3, is to put it after 8, with 
the understanding that woman and child are 
carried off for burial; though really there is 
no need to move them on that account. The 
shooting of the child is unintelligible in the 
mutilated state of the ballad. It is apparently 
meant to be an accident. Nothing of the 
kind occurs in other ballads of the class, and 
the divergence is probably a simple corrup 
tion. 

The ballad which ' Leesome Brand ' repre 
sents is preserved among the Scandinavian 
races under four forms. 

Danish. I. ' Bolde Hr. Nilaus' Lb'n,' a 

I hae a sister eleven years auld, 

And she to the young men's bed has made bauld. 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



179 



single copy from a manuscript of the begin 
ning of the 17th century : Grundtvig, V, 231, 
No 270. II. ' Redselille og Medelvold,' in an 
all but unexampled number of versions, of 
which some sixty are collated, and some twen 
ty-five printed, by Grundtvig, most of them 
recently obtained from tradition, and the old 
est a broadside of about the year 1770 : 
Grundtvig, v, 234, No 271. III. ' Sonnens 
Sorg,' Grundtvig, V, 289, No 272, two ver 
sions only : A from the middle of the 16th 
century; B three hundred years later, pre 
viously printed in Berggreen's Danske Folke- 
sange, I, No 83 (3d ed.). IV. * Stalbroders 
Kvide,' Grundtvig, V, 301, No 273, two ver 
sions : A from the beginning of the 17th cen 
tury, B from about 1570. 

Swedish. II. A, broadside of 1776, re 
printed in Grundtvig, No 271, V, 281, Bilag 
1, and in Jamieson's Illustrations, p. 373 ff, 
with a translation. B, ' Herr Redevall,' Af- 
zelius, H, 189, No 58, new ed. No 51. C, 
' Krist' Lilla och Herr Tideman,' Arwidsson, 
I, 352, No 54 A. D, E, F, G, from Caval- 
lius and Stephens' manuscript collection, first 
printed by Grundtvig, No 271, v, 282 ff, Bilag 
2-5. H, 'Rosa lilla,' Eva Wigstrom, Folk- 
visor fran Skane, in Ur de nordiska Folkens 
Lif, af Artur Hazelius, p. 133, No 8. III. A 
single version, of date about 1650, ' Moder 
och Son,' Arwidsson, II, 15, No 70. 

Norwegian. II. Six versions and a frag 
ment, from recent tradition : A-E, G, first 
printed by Grundtvig, No 271, V, 284 ff, Bilag 
6-11; F, ' Grivilja,' in Lindeman's Norske 
Fjeldmelodier, No 121. III. Six versions from 
recent tradition, A-P, first printed by Grundt 
vig, No 272, v, 297 ff, Bilag 1-6. 

Icelandic. III. ' Sonar harmur,' Islenzk 
FornkvseSi, I, 140 ff, No 17, three versions, 
A, B, C, the last, which is the oldest, being 
from late in the 17th century ; also the first 
stanza of a fourth, D. 

All the Scandinavian versions are in two- 
line stanzas save Danish 272 B, and A in part, 
and Icelandic 17 C, which are in four ; the 
last, however, in stanzas of two couplets. 

It will be most convenient to give first a 
summary of the story of * Redselille og Me 



delvold,' and to notice the chief divergences 
of* the other ballads afterwards. A mother 
and her daughter are engaged in weaving 
gold tissue. The mother sees milk running 
from the girl's breasts, and asks an explana 
tion. After a slight attempt at evasion, the 
daughter confesses that she has been beguiled 
by a knight. The mother threatens both with 
punishment : he shall be hanged [burned, 
broken on the wheel, sent out of the country, 
i. e., sold into servitude], and she sent away 
[broiled on a gridiron, burned, drowned]. 
Some copies begin further back, with a stanza 
or two in which we are told that the knight 
has served in the king's court, and gained the 
favor of the king's daughter. Alarmed by 
her mother's threats, the maid goes to her lov 
er's house at night, and after some difficulty in . 
effecting an entrance (a commonplace, like the 
ill-boding milk above) informs him of the fate 
that awaits them. The knight is sufficiently 
prompt now, and bids her get her gold to 
gether while he saddles his horse. They ride 
away, with [or without] precautions against 
discovery, and come to a wood. Four Nor 
wegian versions, A, B, C, G, and also two Ice 
landic versions, A, B, of ' S0nnens Sorg,' in 
terpose a piece of water, and a difficulty in 
crossing, owing to the ferryman's refusing 
help or the want of oars ; but this passage is 
clearly an infiltration from a different story. 
Arriving at the wood, the maid desires to rest 
a while. The customary interrogation does 
not fail, whether the way is too long or the 
saddle too small. The knight lifts her off the 
horse, spreads his cloak for her on the grass, 
and she gives way to her anguish in such ex 
clamations as " My mother had nine women : 
would that I had the worst of them ! " " My 
mother would never have been so angry with 
me but she would have helped me in this 
strait ! " Most of the Danish versions make 
the knight offer to bandage his eyes and ren 
der such service as a man may ; but she re 
plies that she would rather die than that man 
should know of woman's pangs. So Swedish 
H, nearly. Partly to secure privacy, and 
partly from thirst, she expresses a wish for 
water, and her lover goes in search of some. 



180 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



(This in nearly all the Danish ballads, and 
many of the others. But in four of the Nor 
wegian versions of 4 S0nnens Sorg ' the lover 
is told to go and amuse himself, much as in 
our ballads.) When he comes to the spring 
or the brook, there sits a nightingale and 
sings. Two nightingales, a small bird, a voice 
from heaven, a small dwarf, an old man, re 
place the nightingale in certain copies, and in 
others there is nothing at all ; but the great 
majority has a single nightingale, and, as 
Grundtvig points out, the single bird is right, 
for the bird is really a vehicle for the soul of 
the dead Redselille. The nightingale sings, 
" Redselille lies dead in the wood, with two 
sons [son and daughter] in her bosom." All 
that the nightingale has said is found to 
be true. According to Danish O and Swedish 

C, the knight finds the lady and a child, ac 
cording to Swedish B and Norwegian A, B, C, 
the lady and two sons, dead. In Danish B, 
L (as also the Icelandic ' Sonar Harmur,' A, 
B, and Danish ' Stalbroders Kvide,' A) the 
knight digs a grave, and lays mother and chil 
dren in it ; he lays himself with them in A 
and M. It is not said whether the children 
are dead or living, and the point would hardly 
be raised but for what follows. In Danish 

D, P and Swedish P, it is expressly mentioned 
that the children are alive, and in Q, B, S, T, 
U, six copies of V, and Y, and also in ' Bolde 
Hr. Nilaus' L0n,' and in ' Sonnens Sorg,' Dan 
ish A, Norwegian A, C, IX, E, the children 
are heard, or seem to be heard, shrieking from 
under the ground. Nearly all the versions 
make the knight run himself through with 
his sword, either immediately after the others 
are laid in the grave, or after he has ridden 
far and wide, because he cannot endure the 
cries of the children from under the earth. 
This would seem to be the original conclusion- 
of the story ; the horrible circumstance of the 
children being buried alive is much more 
likely to be slurred over or omitted at a later 
day than to be added. 

We may pass over in silence the less im 
portant variations in the very numerous ver 
sions of ' Redselille and Medelvold,' nor need 
we be detained long by the other three Scan 



dinavian forms of the ballad. ' S0nnens Sorg ' 
stands in the same relation to ' Redselille and 
Medelvold ' as ' Hildebrand and Hilde,' does 
to ' Ribold and Guldborg ' (see p. 89 of this 
volume) ; that is, the story is told in the first 
person instead of the third. A father asks his 
son why he is so sad, Norwegian A, B, C, D, 
Icelandic A, B, C, D. Five years has he sat 
at his father's board, and never uttered a merry 
word. The son relates the tragedy of his life. 
He had lived in his early youth at the house 
of a nobleman, who had three daughters. He 
was on very familiar terms with all of them, 
and the youngest loved him. When the time 
came for him to leave the family, she proposed 
that he should take her with him, Danish B, 
Icelandic A, B, C [he makes the proposal in 
Norwegian C] . From this point the narrative 
is much the same as in ' Redselille and Medel 
vold,' and at the conclusion he falls dead in 
his father's arms [at the table], Norwegian A, 
B, D, Icelandic A. The mother takes the 
place of the father in Danish B and Swedish, 
and perhaps it is the mother who tells the 
story in English A, but the bad condition of 
the text scarcely enables us to say. Danish B 
and the Swedish copy have lost the middle and 
end of the proper story : there is no wood, no 
childbirth, no burial. The superfluous boat 
of some Norwegian versions of ' Redselille ' re 
appears in these, and also in Icelandic A, B ; 
it is overturned in a storm, and the lady is 
drowned. 

' Stalbroders Kvide ' differs from ' S0nnens 
Sorg ' only in this : that the story is related 
to a comrade instead of father or mother. 

' Bolde Hr. Nilaus' L0n,' which exists but 
in a single copy, has a peculiar beginning. 
Sir Nilaus has served eight years in the king's 
court without recompense. He has, however, 
gained the favor of the king's daughter, who 
tells him that she is suffering much on his ac 
count. If this be so, says Nilaus, I will quit 
the land with speed. He is told to wait till 
she has spoken to her mother. She goes to 
her mother and says : Sir Nilaus has served 
eight years, and had no reward ; he desires 
the best that it is in your power to give. The 
queen exclaims, He shall never have my only 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



181 



daughter's hand ! The young lady immediately 
bids Nilaus saddle his horse while she collects 
her gold, and from this point we have the 
story of Redselille. 

Dutch. Willems, Oude vlaemsche Lieder- 
en, p. 482, No 231, ' De Ruiter en Mooi Elsje ; ' 
Hoffmann v. Fallersleben, Niederlandische 
Volkslieder, 2d ed., p. 170, No 75 : broadside 
of the date 1780. 

A mother inquires into her daughter's con 
dition, and learns that she is going with child 
by a trooper (he is called both ' ruiter ' and 
' landsknecht '). The conversation is overheard 
by the other party, who asks the girl whether 
she will ride with him or bide with her mother. 
She chooses to go with him, and as they ride 
is overtaken with pains. She asks whether 
there is not a house where she can rest. The 
soldier builds her a hut of thistles, thorns, 
and high stakes, and hangs his cloak over the 
aperture. She asks him to go away, and to 
come back when he hears a cry : but the maid 
was dead ere she cried. The trooper laid his 
head on a stone, and his heart brake with 
grief. 

German. A, Simrock,.No 40, p. 92, <Von 
Farbe so bleich,' from Bonn and Rheindorf, 
repeated in Mittler, No 194. The mother, on 
learning her daughter's plight, imprecates a 
curse on her. The maid betakes herself to 
her lover, a trooper, who rides off with her. 
They come to a cool spring, and she begs for 
a fresh drink, but, feeling very ill, asks if there 
is no hamlet near, from which she could have 
woman's help. The aid of the trooper is re 
jected in the usual phrase, and he is asked to 
go aside, and answer when called. If there 
should be no call, she will be dead. There 
was no call, and she was found to be dead, 
with two sons in her bosom. The trooper 
wrapped the children in her apron, and dug 
her grave with his sword. B, Reifferscheid, 
Westfalische Volkslieder, p. 106, ' Ach Wun- 
der iiber Wunder,' from Bokendorf : much the 
same as to the story. C, Mittler, No 195, p. 
175, ' Von Farbe so bleich,' a fragment of a 
copy from Hesse ; Zuccalmaglio, p. 187, No 
90, ' Die Waisen,' an entire copy, ostensibly 
from the Lower Rhine, but clearly owing its 



last fourteen stanzas to the editor. The trooper, 
in this supplement^ leaves the boys with his 
mother, and goes over seas. The boys grow 
up, and set out to find their father. In the 
course of their quest, they pass a night in a 
hut in a wood, and are overheai'd saying a 
prayer for their father and dead mother, by a 
person who announces herself as their mater 
nal grandmother ! After this it is not sur 
prising that the father himself should turn up 
early the next morning. The same editor, 
under the name of Montanus, gives in Die 
deutschen Volksfeste, p. 45 f, a part of this 
ballad again, with variations which show his 
hand beyond a doubt. We are here informed 
that the ballad has above a hundred stanzas, 
and that the conclusion is that the grand 
mother repents her curse, makes her peace 
with the boys, and builds a convent. 

French. Bujeaud, Chants et Chansons pop- 
ulaires des provinces de 1'Ouest, A, 1, 198, B, I, 
200, ' J'entends le rossignolet.' A. This ballad 
has suffered injury at the beginning and the 
end, but still preserves very well the chief 
points of the story. A lover has promised his 
mistress that after returning from a long ab 
sence he would take her to see his country. 
While traversing a wood she is seized with her 
pains. The aid of her companion is declined : 
" Cela n'est point votre metier." She begs for 
water. The lover goes for some, and meets 
a lark, who tells him that he will find his love 
dead, with a child in her arms. Two stanzas 
follow which are to no purpose. B. The other 
copy of this ballad has a perverted instead of 
a meaningless conclusion, but this keeps some 
traits that are wanting in A. It is a two- 
line ballad, with the nightingale in the re 
frain : " J'entends le rossignolet." A fair 
maid, walking with her lover, falls ill, and lies 
down under a thorn. The lover asks if he 
shall go for her mother. "She would not 
come : she has a cruel heart." Shall I go for 
mine ? " Go, like the swallow ! " He comes 
back and finds his love dead, and says he will 
die with his mistress. The absurd conclusion 
follows that she was feigning death to test his 
love. 

The names in the Scandinavian ballads, it 



182 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



is remarked by Grundtvig, v, 242, 291, are not 
Norse, but probably of German derivation, 
and, if such, would indicate a like origin for 
the story. The man's name, for instance, in 
the Danish ' S0nnens Sorg,' A, Gysellannd, 
seems to point to Gisalbrand or Gisalbald, 
German names of the 8th or 9th century. 
There is some doubt whether this Gysellannd 
is not due to a corruption arising in the course 
of tradition (see Grundtvig, v, 302) ; but if 
the name may stand, it will account for our 
Leesome Brand almost as satisfactorily as 
Hildebrand does for Earl Brand in No 7. 

The passage in which the lady refuses male 
assistance during her travail found as well 
in almost all the Danish versions of ' Redselille 
and Medelvold,' in the German and French, 
and imperfectly in Swedish D occurs in 
several other English ballads, viz., ' The Birth 
of Robin Hood,' ' Rose the Red and White 
Lily,' ' Sweet Willie,' of Finlay's Scottish Bal 
lads, n, 61, ' Burd Helen,' of Buchan, il r 30, 
' Bonnie Annie,' No 23. Nearly the whole of 
the scene in the wood is in ' Wolfdietrich.' 
Wolfdietrich finds a dead man and a woman 
naked to the girdle, who is clasping the stem 
of a tree. The man, who was her husband, 
was taking her to her mother's house, where 



her first child was to be born, when he was at 
tacked by the dragon Schadesam. She was now 
in the third day of her travail. Wolfdietrich, 
having first wrapped her in his cloak, offers t his 
help, requesting her to tear a strifi from her 
shift and bind it round his eyes. She rejects 
his assistance in this form, but sends him for 
water, which he brings in his helmet, but only 
to find the woman dead, with a lifeless child at 
her breast. He wraps mother and child in his 
mantle, carries them to a chapel, and lays them 
on the altar ; then digs a grave with his sword, 
goes for the body of the man, and buries all 
three in the grave he has made. Grimm, Alt- 
danische Heldenlieder, p. 508 ; Holtzmann, 
Der grosse Wolfdietrich, st. 1587-1611 ; Ame- 
lung u. Jiinicke,* Ortnit u. die Wolfdietriche, 
n, 146, D, st. 51-75 ; with differences, I, 289, 
B, st. 842-848 ; mother and child surviving, 

I, 146, A, st. 562-578 ; Weber's abstract of 
the Heldenbuch, in Illustrations of Northern 
Antiquities, p. 119, 120. 

' Herr Medelvold,' a mixed text of Danish 

II, Danske Viser, No 156, is translated by 
Jamieson, Illustrations, p. 377; by Borrow, 
Romantic Ballads, p. 28 (very ill) ; and by 
Prior, No 101. Swedish, II, A, is translated 
by Jamieson, z'6., p. 373. 



a. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i, 38. b. 
MotherwelPs MS., p. 626. 

1 MY boy was scarcely ten years auld, 

Whan he went to an unco land, 
Where wind never blew, nor cocks ever crew, 
Ohon for my son, Leesome Brand ! 

2 Awa to that king's court he went, 

It was to serve for meat an fee ; 
Gude red gowd it was his hire, 

And lang in that king's court stayd he. 

3 He hadna been in that unco land 

But only twallmonths twa or three, 
Till by the glancing o his ee, 
He gaind the love o a gay ladye. 



4 This ladye was scarce eleven years auld, 

When on her love she was right bauld ; 
She was scarce up to my right knee, 
When oft in bed wi men I 'm tauld. 

5 But when nine months were come and gane, 
This ladye's face turnd pale and wane. 

6 To Leesome Brand she then did say, 
'In this place I can nae mair stay. 

7 ' Ye do you to my father's stable, 

Where steeds do stand baith wight and able. 

8 ' Strike ane o them upo the back, 
The swiftest will gie his head a wap. 

* Who suggests, u, xlv, somewhat oddly, that the pas 
sage may have been taken from Revelation, xii, 2 f, 13 f. 



15. LEESOME BRAND 



183 



9 ' Ye take him out upo the green, 

And get him saddled and bridled seen. 

10 ' Get ane for you, anither for me, 
And lat us ride out ower the lee. 

11 ' Ye do you to my mother's coffer, 
And out of it ye '11 take my tocher. 

12 ' Therein are sixty thousand pounds, 
Which all to me by right belongs.' 

13 He 's done him to her father's stable, 
Where steeds stood baith wicht and able. 

14 Then he strake ane upon the back, 
The swiftest gae his head a wap. 

15 He 's taen him out upo the green, 
And got him saddled and bridled seen. 

16 Ane for him, and another for her, 

To carry them baith wi might and virr. 

17 He 's done him to her mother's coffer, 
And there he 's taen his lover's tocher ; 

18 Wherein were sixty thousand pound, 
Which all to her by right belongd. 

19 When they had ridden about six mile, 
His true love then began to fail. 

20 ' O wae 's me,' said that gay ladye, 

' I fear my back will gang in three ! 

21 ' O gin I had but a gude midwife, 
Here this day to save my life, 

22 ' And ease me o my misery, 

dear, how happy I woud be ! ' 

23 ' My love, we 're far f rae ony town, 
There is nae midwife to be foun. 

24 ' But if ye '11 be content wi me, 

1 '11 do for you what man can dee.' 

25 ' For no, for no, this maunna be,' 
Wi a sigh, replied this gay ladye. 

26 ' When I endure my grief and pain, 
My companie ye maun refrain. 



27 ' Ye '11 take your arrow and your bow, 
And ye will hunt the deer and roe. 

28 ' Be sure ye touch not the white hynde, 
For she is o the woman kind.' 

29 He took sic pleasure in deer and roe, 
Till he forgot his gay ladye. 

30 Till by it came that milk-white hynde, 
And then he mind on his ladye syne. 

31 He hasted him to yon greenwood tree, 
For to relieve his gay ladye ; 

32 But found his ladye lying dead, 
Likeways her young son at her head. 

33 His mother lay ower her castle wa, 

And she beheld baith dale and down ; 
And she beheld yqung Leesome Brand, 
As he came riding to the town. 

34 ' Get minstrels for to play,' she said, 

' And dancers to dance in my room ; 

For here comes my son, Leesome Brand, 

And he comes merrilie to the town.' 

35 ' Seek nae minstrels to play, mother, 

Nor dancers to dance in your room ; 
But tho your son comes, Leesome Brand, 
Yet he comes sorry to the town. 

36 ' I hae lost my gowden knife ; 

I rather had lost my ain sweet life ! 

37 ' And I hae lost a better thing, 
The gilded sheath that it was in.' 

38 ' Are there nae gowdsmiths here in Fife, 
Can make to you anither knife ? 

39 ' Are there nae sheath-makers in the land, 
Can make a sheath to Leesome Brand ? ' 

40 ' There are nae gowdsmiths here in Fife, 
Can make me sic a gowden knife ; 

41 ' Nor nae sheath-makers in the land, 
Can make to me a sheath again. 

42 ' There ne'er was man in Scotland born, 
Ordaind to be so much forlorn. 



184 



16. LEESOME BRAND 



43 ' I 've lost my ladye I lovd sae dear, 
Likeways the son she did me bear.' 

44 ' Put in your hand at my bed head, 

There ye '11 find a gude grey horn ; 
In it three draps o' Saint Paul's ain blude, 
That hae been there sin he was born. 

45 ' Drap twa o them o your ladye, 

And ane upo your little young son ; 
Then as lively they will be 

As the first night ye brought them hame.' 



46 He put his hand at her bed head, 

And there he found a gude grey horn, 
Wi three draps o' Saint Paul's ain blude, 
That had been there sin he was born. 

47 Then he drappd twa on his ladye, 

And ane o them on his young son, 
And now they do as lively be, 

As the first day he brought them hame. 



B 



Motherwell's MS., p. 365. From the recitation of Agnes 
Lyle, Kilbarchan. 

1 * THERE is a feast in your father's house, 

The broom blooms bonnie and so is it fair 
It becomes you and me to be very douce. 
And we '11 never gang up to the broom nae 
mair 

2 ' You will go to yon hill so hie ; 

Take your bow and your arrow wi thee.' 

3 He 's tane his lady on his back, 
And his auld son in his coat lap. 

4 ' When ye hear me give a cry, 

Ye '11 shoot your bow and let me lye. 

5 ' When ye see me lying still, 

Throw away your bow and come running me 
till.' 

6 When he heard her gie the cry, 
He shot his bow and he let her lye. 

7 When he saw she was lying still, 

He threw away his bow and came running her 
till. 



8 It was nae wonder his heart was sad 
When he shot his auld son at her head. 

9 He houkit a grave, long, large and wide, 
He buried his auld son doun by her side. 

10 It was nae wonder his heart was sair 

When he shooled the mools on her yellow 
hair. 

11 ' Oh,' said his father, ' son, but thou 'rt sad ! 
At our braw meeting you micht be glad.' 

12 ' Oh,' said he, ' Father, I 've lost my knife 
I loved as dear almost as my own life. 

13 ' But I have lost a far better thing, 

I lost the sheath that the knife was in.' 

14 ' Hold thy tongue, and mak nae din ; 

I '11 buy thee a sheath and a knife therein.' 

15 ' A' the ships eer sailed the 'sea 

Neer '11 bring such a sheath and a knife to me. 

16 'A' the smiths that lives on land 

Will neer bring such a sheath and knife to my 
hand.' 



b. I 2 , he came to. 8 . For wind .... and 

cock never. 
4 4 . bed wi him. 
5 2 . His lady's. 
22 2 . would I be. 
29 1 . deer and doe. 
30 2 . And then on his lady he did mind. 



31 1 . to greenwood tree. 

33 1 . the castle wa. 

34 1 . Go, minstrels. 

43 1 . lady I 've loved. 

44 s . draps Saint Paul's. 4 . That has. 

45 2 . little wee son. 



B. 2 1 . Will you. 



16. SHEATH AND KNIFE 



185 



16 
SHEATH AND KNIFE 

A. a. Motherwell's MS., p. 286. b. ' The broom blooms C. ' The broom blooms bonie,' Johnson's Museum, No 
bonnie and says it is fair,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 461. 

p. 189. 

D. Notes and Queries, First Series, v, 345, one stanza. 

B. Sharpe's Ballad Book, ed. by D. Laing, p. 159. 



THE three stanzas of this ballad which are 
found in the Musical Museum (C) were fur 
nished, it is said, by Burns. It was first 
printed in full (A b) in Motherwell's Min 
strelsy. Motherwell retouched a verse here 
and there slightly, to regulate the metre. A a 
is here given as it stands in his manuscript. 
B consists of some scattered verses as remem 
bered by Sir W. Scott. 

The directions in 3, 4 receive light from a 
passage in ' Robin Hood's Death and Burial : ' 

' But give me my bent bow in my hand, 
And a broad arrow 1 '11 let flee, 



And where this arrow is taken up 
There shall my grave diggd be. 

' Lay me a green sod under my head,' etc. 

Other ballads with a like theme are * The 
Bonny Hind,' further on in this volume, and 
the two which follow it. 

Translated in Grundtvig's E. og s. Folke- 
viser, No 49, p. 308 ; Wolff's Halle der Volker, 
1,64. 



a. Motherwell's MS., p. 286. From the recitation of Mrs 
King, Kilbarchan Parish, February 9, 1825. b. ' The broom 
hlooms bonnie and says it is fair,' Motberwell's Minstrelsy, 
p. 189. 

1 IT is talked the warld all over, 

The brume blooms bonnie and says it is fair 
That the king's dochter gaes wi child to her 

brither. 
And we '11 never gang doun to the brume 

onie mair 

2 He 's taen his sister doun to her father's deer 

park, 

Wi his yew-tree bow and arrows fast slung to 
his back. 

3 ' Now when that ye hear me gie a loud cry, 
Shoot frae thy bow an arrow and there let me lye. 

24 



4 ' And when that ye see I am lying dead, 
Then ye '11 put me in a grave, wi a turf at my 

head.' 

5 Now when he heard: her gie a loud cry, 

His silver arrow frae his bow he suddenly let 

fly- 

Now they '11 never, etc. 

6 He has made a grave that was lang and was 

deep, 
And he has buried his sister, wi her babe at 

her feet. 
And they '11 never, etc. 

7 And when he came to his father's court hall, 
There was music and minstrels and dancing 

and all. 
But they '11 never, etc. 



186 



16. SHEATH AND KNIFE 



8 ' Willie, Willie, what makes thee in pain ? ' 10 ' There is ships o my father's sailing on the 
' I have lost a sheath and knife that I '11 never sea, 

But sic a sheath and a knife they can never 



see again. 
For we '11 never, etc. 

9 ' There is ships o your father's sailing on the sea 
That will bring as good a sheath and a knife 
unto thee.' 



bring to me.' 
Now we '11 never, etc. 



B 

Sharpe's Ballad Book, ed. by D. Lairig, p. 159 : Sir Walter 
Scott, from his recollection of a nursery-maid's singing. 

1 AE lady has whispered the other, 

The broom grows bonnie, the broom grows 

fair 
Lady Margaret 's wi bairn to Sir Richard, her 

brother. 
And we daur na gae doun to the broom nae 

mair 
***** 



2 ' And when ye hear me loud, loud cry, 
O bend your bow, let your arrow fly. 

And I daur na, etc. 

3 ' But when ye see me lying still, 

then you may come and greet your fill.' 
* * * * * 

4 ' It 's I hae broken my little pen-knife 
That I loed dearer than my life.' 

And I daur na, etc. 
***** 

5 ' It 's no for the knife that my tears doun run, 
But it's a' for the case that my knife was kept in.' 





Johnson's Museum, No 461. 

1 IT 's whispered in parlour, it 's whispered in ha, 
The broom blooms bonie, the broom blooms 

fair 

Lady Marget 's wi child amang our ladies a'. 
And she dare na gae down to the broom nae 



2 One lady whisperd unto another 

Lady Marget 's wi child to Sir Richard, her 
brother. 

***** 

3 ' O when that you hear my loud loud cry, 
Then bend your bow and let your arrows fly. 

For I dare na,' etc. 



Notes and Queries, 1st Series, v, 345, communicated by 
E. F. Rimbault. 

1 AE king's dochter said to anither, 

Broom blooms bonnie an grows sae fair 



We '11 gae ride like sister and brither. 

But we'll never gae down to the broom nae 
mair 



A. b. Motherwell 's printed copy has these varia 
tions : 

I 1 . It is talked, it is talked ; a variation found 
in the MS. 

3 1 . O when . . . loud, loud cry. 

3 2 . an arrow frae thy bow. 
4 1 . cauld and dead. 

5 1 . loud, loud cry. 



6 1 . has houkit. 

6 2 . babie. 

7 1 . came hame. 

7 2 . dancing mang them a' : this variation also 
in the MS. 

9 1 , 10 1 . There are. 

B. " I have heard the ' Broom blooms bonnie ' sung 
by our poor old nursery-maid as often as I have 



17. HIND HORN 



187 



teeth in my head, but after cudgelling my 
memory I can make no more than the follow 
ing stanzas." Scott, Sharpens Ballad Book, 
1880, p. 159. 
Scott makes Effie Deans, in The Heart of 

Mid-Lothian, vol. I, ch. 10, sing this stanza, 

probably of his own making : 



The elfin knight sat on the brae, 

The broom grows bonny, the broom grows 

fair 

And by there came lilting a lady so gay. 
And we daurna gang down to the broom 
nae mair 



17 
HIND HORN 



A. Hindhorn,' Motherwell's MS., p. 106. 



B. Hynd Horn,' Motherwell's MS., p. 91. 



B. ' Young Hyndhorn/ Motherwell's MS., p. 418. xF. Lowran Castle, or the Wild Boar of Curridoo: with 

other Tales. By R. Trotter, Dumfries, 1822. 

C. a. ' Young Hyn Horn,' Motherwell's Note-Book, p. 

42. b. Motherwell's MS., p. 413. G. ' Hynde Horn,' Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, 

p. 135. 

D. ' Young Hynhorn,' Cromek's Select Scotish Songs, 

ii, 204. H. ' Hynd Horn,' Buchan's Ballads of the North of 

Scotland, 11, 268. 



A DEFECTIVE copy of this ballad was 
printed in Cromek's Select Scottish Songs, 
Ancient and Modern, 1810 (D). A fragment, 
comprising the first half of the story, was in 
serted in " Lowran Castle, or the Wild Boar 
of Curridoo : with other Tales," etc., by Rob 
ert Trotter, Dumfries, 1822 *(P). A com 
plete copy was first given in Kinloch's Ancient 
Scottish Ballads, 1827 (G) ; another, described 
by the editor as made up from Cromek's frag 
ment and two copies from recitation, in Moth 
erwell's Minstrelsy, p. 36, f later in the same 
year ; and a third, closely resembling Kin 
loch's, in Buchan's Ballads of the North of 
Scotland, in 1828 (H). Three versions com 
plete, or nearly so, and a fragment of a fourth 
are now printed for the first time, all from 
Motherwell's manuscripts (A, B, C, E). 

The stanza about the auger bore [wimble 

* This I should have missed but for the kindness of Mr 
W. Macmath. 

t Motherwell's printed copy, Minstrelsy, p. 36, is thus 
made up : stanzas 1, 2, 3, 8, 15, from Cromek (D) ; 4-7, 9, 
11, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20, 24-28, 30-37, from B ; 12, 17, 18 from 



bore], B 1, P 3, H 4, is manifestly out of 
place. It is found in ' The Whummil Bore ' 
(see further on), and may have slipped into 
' Hind Horn ' by reason of its following, in its 
proper place, a stanza beginning, " Seven lang 
years I hae served the king : " cf. P 2, H 3. 

G 17, 18, 21, 22, which are not intelligible 
in their present connection, are perhaps, as 
well as G 16, H 18-20, borrowed from some 
Robin Hood ballad, in which a change is made 
with a beggar. 

The noteworthy points in the story of Hind 
Horn are these. Hind Horn has served the 
king seven years (D, F), and has fallen in love 
with his daughter. She gives Hind Horn a 
jewelled ring : as long as the stone keeps its 
color, he may know that she is faithful ; but if 
it changes hue, he may ken she loves another 
man. The king is angry (D), and Hind Horn 

B. 23 = A 14. 10, 21, 22, 29, have not been found in his 
manuscripts. The first line of the burden is from B, the 
second from B. Motherwell alters his texts slightly, now 
and then. 



188 



17. HIND HORN 



goes to sea [is sent, D] . He has been gone 
seven years, E, F [seven years and a day, B], 
when, looking on his ring, he sees that the 
stone is pale and wan, A-H. He makes for 
the land at once, and, meeting an old beggar, 
asks him for news. No news but the king's 
daughter's wedding : it has lasted nine days 
[two and forty, A], and she will not go into 
the bride-bed till she hears of Hind Horn, E. 
Hind Horn changed cloaks and other gear 
with the beggar, and when he came to the 
king's gate asked for a drink in Horn's name,* 
A, B, D. The bride herself came down, and 
gave him a drink out of her own hand, A, B, 
C, G, H. He drank out the drink and dropped 
in the ring. 

' O gat ye 't by sea, or gat ye 't by Ian, 
Or gat ye 't aff a dead man's han ? ' 

So she asked ; and he answered : 

' I gat na 't by sea, I gat na 't by Ian, 
But I gat it out of your own han.' D 14. 

1 1 got na 't by sea, I got na 't by land, 
Nor got I it aff a drownd man's hand ; 



' But I got it at my wooing, 
And I '11 gie it at your wedding.' 

The bride, who had said, 



G 29, 30. 



' I '11 go through nine fires so hot, 
But I '11 give him a drink for Young Hyn- 
horn's sake,' B 16, 

is no less ready now : 

' I '11 tak the red gowd frae my head, 
And follow you and beg my bread. 

' I '11 tak the red gowd frae my hair, 
And follow you for evermair.' H 31, 32. 

But Hind Horn let his cloutie cloak fall, G, 
H, and told her, 



' Ye need na leave your bridal gown, 
For I '11 make ye ladie o many a town.' 

The story of Horn, of which this ballad gives 
little more than the catastrophe, is related at 
full in 

I. ' King Horn,' a gest in about 1550 short 
verses, preserved in three manuscripts : the 
oldest regarded as of the second half of the 
13th century, or older ; the others put at 
1300 and a little later. All three have been 
printed : (1.) By Michel, Horn et Rimenhild, 
p. 259 ff, Bannatyne Club, 1845 ; J. R. Lum- 
by, Early English Text Society, 1866 ; and in 
editions founded on Lumby's text, by Matz- 
ner, Altenglische Sprachproben, p. 270 ff, 
and later by Wissmann, Quellen u. Forsch- 
ungen, No 45. (2.) By Horstmann, Archiv 
fiir das Studium der neueren Sprachen, 1872, 
L, 39 ff. (3.) By Ritson, A. E. Metrical Ro- 
mancees, II, 91 ff. 

II. ' Horn et Rymenhild,' a romance in 
about 5250 heroic verses, preserved likewise 
in three manuscripts ; the best in the Public 
Library of the University of Cambridge, and 
of the 14th century. 

III. ' Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild,' 
from a manuscript of the 14th century, in not 
quite 100 twelve-line stanzas : Ritson, Metrical 
Romancees, in, 282 ff ; Michel, p. 341 ff. 

Horn, in the old English gest, is son of 
Murry [Allof], king of Suddenne. He is a 
youth of extraordinary beauty, and has twelve 
comrades, of whom Athulf and Fikenild are 
his favorites. One day, as Murry was out rid 
ing, he came upon fifteen ships of Saracens, 
just arrived. The pagans slew the king, and 
insured themselves, as they thought, against 
Horn's future revenge by putting him and his 
twelve aboard a vessel without sail or rudder ; 
but " the children " drove to shore, unhurt, on 
the coast of Westerness. The king, Ailmar, 
gave them a kind reception, and committed 
them to Athelbrus, his steward, to be properly 
brought up. Rymenhild, the king's daughter, 



* C 16, 17 are corrupted, and also F 19, 23, G 21 ; all three 
in a way which allows of easy emendation. Hymen [high, 
man] in C should of course be Hyn Horn. The injunction 



in G, H should be to ask nothing for Peter or Paul's sake, 
but all for Horn's. 



17. HIND HORN 



189 



fell in love with Horn, and having, with some 
difficulty, prevailed upon Athelbrus to bring 
him to her bower, offered herself to him as 
his wife. It were no fair wedding, Horn told 
her, between a thrall and a king, a speech 
which hurt Rymenhild greatly ; and Horn was 
so moved by her grief that he promised to do 
all she required, if she would induce the king 
to knight him. This was done the next day, 
and Horn at once knighted all his comrades. 
Rymenhild again sent for Horn, and urged 
him now to make her his wife. But Horn 
said he must first prove his knighthood : if he 
came back alive, he would then marry her. 
Upon this Rymenhild gave him a ring, set 
with stones of such virtue that he could never 
be slain if he looked on it and thought of his 
leman. The young knight had the good for 
tune to fall in immediately with a ship full 
of heathen hounds, and by the aid of his ring 
killed a hundred of the best of them. The 
next day he paid Rymenhild a visit, and found 
her drowned in grief on account of a bad 
dream. She had cast her net in the sea, and 
a great fish had broken it : she weened she 
should lose the fish that she would choose. 
Horn strove to comfort her, but could not con 
ceal his apprehension that trouble was brew 
ing. The fish proved to be Fikenild, Horn's 
much cherished friend. He told Ailmar of 
the intimacy with Rymenhild, and asserted 
that Horn meant to kill the king as well as 
marry the princess. Ailmar was very angry 
(v. 724, Wissmann), and much grieved, too. 
He found the youth in his daughter's bower, 
and ordered him to quit the land anon. Horn 
saddled his horse and armed himself, then 
went back to Rymenhild, and told her that he 
was going to a strange land for seven years : 
if, after that, he neither came nor sent word, 
she might take a husband. He sailed a good 
way eastward (v. 799) to Ireland, and, land 
ing, met two princes, who invited him to take 
service with their father. The king, Thurs- 
ton, welcomed him, and had soon occasion to 
employ him ; for at Christmas came into court 
a giant, with a message from pagans newly 
arrived. They proposed that one of them 
should fight three Christians : 



' If your three slay our one, 
Let all this land be your own ; 
If our one oercomes your three, 
All this land then ours shall be.' 

Horn scorned to fight on such terms ; he 
alone would undertake three of the hounds ; 
and so he did. In the course of a hard fight 
it came out that these were the very heathen 
that had slain King Murry. Horn looked on 
his ring and thought on Rymenhild, then fell 
on his foes. Not a man of them escaped ; but 
King Thurston lost many men in the fight, 
among them his two sons. Having now no 
heir, he offered Horn his daughter Reynild 
and the succession. Horn replied that he had 
not earned such a reward . yet. He would 
serve the king further ; and when he asked 
for his daughter, he hoped the king would not 
refuse her. 

Seven years Horn stayed with King Thurs 
ton, and to Rymenhild neither sent nor went. 
A sorry time it was for her, and worst at the 
end, for King Modi of Reynis asked her in 
marriage, and her father consented. The wed 
ding was to be in a few days. Rymenhild 
despatched messengers to every land, but Horn 
heard nothing, till one day, when he was going 
put to shoot, he encountered one of these, and 
learned how things stood. He sent word to 
his love not to be troubled ; he would be there 
betimes. But, alas, the messenger was drowned 
on his way back, and Rymenhild, peering out 
of her door for a ray of hope, saw his body 
washed up by the waves. Horn now made a 
clean breast to Thurston, and asked for help. 
This was generously accorded, and Horn set 
sail for Westerness. He arrived not too early 
on the day of the wedding, " ne might he 
come no later ! " left his men in a wood, 
and set off for Ailinar's court alone. He met 
a palmer, and asked his news. The palmer 
had come from a bridal ; a wedding of maid 
Rymenhild, who wept and would not be mar 
ried, because she had a husband, though he 
was out of the land. Horn changed clothes 
with the palmer, put on the sclavin, took scrip 
and staff, blackened his skin and twisted his 
lip, and presented himself at the king's gate. 
The porter would not let him in ; Horn kicked 



190 



17. HIND HORN 



open the wicket, threw the porter over the 
bridge, made his way into the hall, and sat 
down in the beggars' row. Rymenhild was 
weeping as if she were out of her wits, but 
after meat she rose to give all the knights 
and squires drink from a horn which she bare : 
such was the custom. Horn called to her : 

' Skink us with the first, 
The beggars ben athirst.' 

She laid down her horn and filled him a gallon 
bowl ; but Horn would not drink of that. He 
said, mysteriously, " Thou thinkest I am a 
beggar, but I am a fisher, come far from the 
East, to fish at thy feast. My net lies near at 
hand, and hath full seven year. I am come 
to see if it has taken any fish. 

' I am come to fish ; 
Drink to me from thy dish, 
Drink to Horn from horn ! ' ' 

Rymenhild looked at him, a chill creeping 
over her heart. What he meant by his fish 
ing she did not see. She filled her horn and 
drank to him, handed it to the pilgrim, and 
said, " Drink thy fill, and tell me if ever thou 
saw Horn." Horn drank, and threw the ring 
into the vessel. When the princess went to 
bower, she found the ring she had given Horn. 
She feared he was dead, and sent for the 
palmer. The palmer said Horn had died on 
the voyage to Westerness, and had begged 
him to go with the ring to Rymenhild. Ry 
menhild could bear no more. She threw her 
self on her bed, where she had hid a knife, 
to kill both King Modi and herself if Horn 
should not come ; she set the knife to her 
heart, and there Horn stopped her. He wiped 
off the black, and cried, " I am Horn ! " Great 
was their bliss, but it was not a time to in 
dulge themselves fully. 

Horn sprang out of hall, 

And let bis sclavin fall, (1246) 

and went to summon his knights. Rymen 
hild sent after him the faithful Athulf, who 
all the while had been watching for Horn in 



the tower. They slew all that were in the 
castle, except King Ailmar and Horn's old 
comrades. Horn spared even Fikenild, taking 
an oath of fidelity from him and the rest. 
Then he made himself known to Ailmar, de 
nied what he had been charged with, and 
would not marry Rymenhild even now, not 
till he had won back Suddenne. This he 
went immediately about ; but while he was 
engaged in clearing the land of Saracens and 
rebuilding churches, the false Fikenild bribed 
young and old to side with him, built a strong 
castle, " married " Rymenhild, carried her into 
his fortress, and began a feast. Horn, warned 
in a dream, again set sail for Westerness, and 
came in by Fikenild's new castle. Athulf's 
cousin was on the shore, to tell him what had 
happened ; how Fikenild had wedded Rymen 
hild that very day ; he had beguiled Horn 
twice. Force would not avail now. Horn 
disguised himself and some of his knights as 
harpers and fiddlers, and their music gained 
them admittance. Horn began a lay which 
threw Rymenhild into a swoon. This smote 
him to the heart ; he looked on his ring and 
thought of her. Fikenhild and his men were 
soon disposed of. Horn was in a condition to 
reward all his faithful adherents. He mar 
ried Athulf to Thurston's daughter, and made 
Rymenhild queen of Suddenne. 

The French romance contains very nearly 
the same story, extended, by expansions of 
various sorts, to about six times the length of 
King Horn. It would be out of place to no 
tice other variations than those which relate 
to the story preserved in the ballads. Rimild 
offers Horn a ring when she first avows her 
love. He will not take it then, but accepts a 
second tender, after his first fight. When he 
is accused to the king, he offers to clear him 
self by combat with heavy odds, but will not 
submit, king's son as he is, to purgation by 
oath. The king says, then he may quit the 
land and go to Norway, if he will. Horn 
begs Rimild to maintain her love for him 
seven years. If he does not come then, he 
will send her word to act thereafter at her 
pleasure. Rimild exchanges the ring she had 
previously given him for one set with a sap- 



17. HIND HORN 



191 



phire, wearing which faithfully he need not 
fear death by water nor fire, battle nor tour 
ney (vv 2051-8). He looks at this ring when 
he fights with the pagan that had killed his 
father, and it fires his heart to extraordinary 
exploits (3166 ff). Having learned through 
a friend, who had long been seeking him, that 
Rimild's father is about to marry her to a 
young king (Modun), Horn returns to Brit 
tany with a large force. He leaves his men 
in a woody place, and goes out alone on horse 
back for news ; meets a palmer, who tells him 
that the marriage is to take place that very 
day ; gives the palmer his fine clothes in ex 
change for sclavin, staff and scrip, forces his 
way into the city, and is admitted to the ban 
quet hall with the beggars. After the guests 
had eaten (4152 ff), Rimild filled a splendid 
cup with piment, presented it first a sun dru, 
and then, with her maids, served the whole 
company. As she was making her fifth round, 
Horn pulled her by the sleeve, and reproached 
her with attending only to the rich. " Your 
credit would be greater should you serve us." 
She set a handsome cup before him, but he 
would not drink. " Corn apelent Horn li 
Engleis," he said. " If, for the love of him 
who bore that name, you would give me the 
same horn that you offered ypur ami, I would 
share it with you." All but fainting, Rimild 
gave him the horn. He threw in his ring, 
even that which she had given him at part 
ing, drank out half, and begged her to drink 



by the love of him whom he had named. In 
drinking, she sipped the ring into her mouth, 
and she saw at once what it was (4234). " I 
have found a ring," said she. " If it is yours, 
take it. Blest be he to whom I gave it : if 
you know aught of him, conceal it not. If you 
are Horn, it were a great sin not to reveal 
yourself." Horn owned that the ring was his, 
but denied knowledge of the man she spake 
of. For himself, he had been reared in that 
land, and by service had come into possession 
of a hawk, which, before taming it, he had 
put in a cage : that was nigh seven years since : 
he had come now to see what it amounted to. 
If it should prove to be as good as when he 
left it, he would carry it away with him ; but if 
its feathers were ruffled and broken, he would 
have nothing to do with it. At this, Rimild 
broke into a laugh, and cried, " Horn, 't is 
you, and your hawk has been safely kept ! " * 
She would go with him or kill herself. Horn 
saw that she had spoken truth, but, to try 
her yet further, said he was indeed Horn, 
whom she had loved, but he had come back 
with nothing : why should she follow a poor 
wretch who could not give her a gown to her 
back ? " Little do you know me," was her 
reply. " I can bear what you bear, and there 
is no king in the East for whom I would quit 

you." 

' Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild,' with 
many diversities of its own as to details, is 
more like the French than the English ro- 



* When Horn was near the city, he stopped to see how 
things would go. King Modun passed, with Wikel, in gay 
discourse of the charms of Rimild. Horn called out to them 
insultingly, and Modun asked who he was. Horn said he 
had formerly served a man of consequence as his fisherman : 
he had thrown a net almost seven years ago, and had now 
come to give it a look. If it had taken any fish, he would 
love it no more; if it should still be as he left it, he would 
carry it away. Modnn thinks him a fool. (3984-4057, 
and nearly the same in 'Horn Childe and Maiden Ri 
mild,' 77-79). This is part of a story in the Gesta Roma- 
norum, of a soldier who loved the emperor's daughter, and 
went to the holy land for seven years, after a mutual ex 
change of fidelity for that time. A king comes to woo the 
princess, but is put off for seven years, upon her alleging 
that she has made a vow of virginity for so long. At the 
expiration of this term, the king and the soldier meet as 
they are on the way to the princess. The king, from cer 
tain passages between them, thinks the soldier a fool. The 



soldier takes leave of the king under pretence of looking 
after a net which he had laid in a certain place seven years 
before, rides on ahead, and slips away with the princess. 
Gest. Rom., Oesterley, p. 597, No 193; Grasse, u, 159; 
Madden, p. 32 ; Swan, i, p. Ixv. A similar story in Camp 
bell's Tales of the West Highlands, i, 281, ' Baillie Lun- 
nain.' (Simrock, Deutsche Marchen, No 47, is apparently a 
translation from the Gesta.) The riddle of the hawk, slightly 
varied, is met with in the romance of Blonde of Oxford 
and Jehan of Dammartin, v. 2811 ff, 3143 ff, 3288 ff (ed. Le 
Roux de Lincy, pp. 98, 109, 114), and, still further modified, 
in Le Romant de Jehan de Paris, ed. Montaiglon, pp. 55, 
63, 111. (Le Roux de Lincy, Kohler, Mussafia, G. Paris). 
' Horn et Rimenhild,' it will be observed, has both riddles, 
and that of the net is introduced under circumstances en 
tirely like those in the Gesta Romanorum. The French 
romance is certainly independent of the English in this pas 
sage. 



192 



17. HIND HORN 



mance as to the story, and, on the other hand, 
has one or two resemblances to the ballads 
which they both lack. Rimnild's father, mad 
dened by the traitor Wikel's false information, 
beats her till she bleeds, and threatens to slay 
Horn. Rimnild, expecting her lover to be at 
least exiled, assures Horn that she will marry 
no other man for seven years. The king, 
who had shut himself up till his first wrath 
was past, tells Horn, when he next comes into 
his presence, that if he is found in the land 
on the morrow, he shall be drawn with horses 
and hanged. Rimnild, at parting, gives him 
a ring, with these words : 

' Loke thou forsake it for no thing, 
It schal ben our tokening ; 

The ston it is wele trewe. 
When the ston wexeth wan, 
Than chaungeth the thou^t of thi leman, 

Take than a newe ; 
When the ston wexeth rede, 
Than have Y lorn mi maidenhed, 

O^aines the untrewe.' (Michel, st. 48.) 

Horn, for his part, bids her every day look 
into a spring in her arbor : should she see his 
shadow, then he is about to marry another ; 
till then his thought will not have changed 
(sts 48, 49). Though loved, as before, by an 
other princess, Horn kept his faith; but when 
seven years were gone, on looking at the stone 
he saw that its hue was changed (st. 71). 
He immediately gathered a force, and set sail 
for Rimnild. On landing he saw a beggar, 
who turned out to be one of his old friends, 
and had been looking for him a long time. 
That day Moging the king was to marry Rim 
nild. They changed weeds (76) ; Horn forced 
his way into the castle. While Rimnild was 
serving the guests, Horn, who had tried to 
pass for a fool, called to her to attend to 
God's men. She fetched him drink, and he 
said, " For Horn's love, if ever he was dear 
to thee, go not ere this be drunk." He threw 
the ring into the cup : she brought him an 
other drink (something is wrong here, for noth 
ing is said of her seeing and recognizing the 
ring), and asked if Horn were there. She 
fainted when she learned that he was, but on 



recovering sent Hatherof (= Athulf ) to bid 
the king make merry, and then to gather per 
iwinkle and ivy, "grasses that ben of main " 
(to stain her face with, no doubt), and then 
to tell Horn to wait for her under a wood- 
side. 

' When al this folk is gon to play, 
He and Y schal steal oway, 
Bituene the day and the ni}t.' (87) 

Hatherof did his message. Of true love Horn 
was sure. He said he would come into the 
field with a hundred knights. A tournament 
follows, as in the French romance ; the royal 
bridegroom is unhorsed, but spared ; treachery 
is punished and forced to confession. 

Now is Rimnild tuiis wedde, 

Horn brou^t hir to his bedde. (94) 

That the lay or gest of King Horn is a far 
more primitive poem than the French ro 
mance, and could not possibly be derived from 
it, will probably be plain to any one who will 
make even a hasty comparison of the two ; and 
that the contrary opinion should have been 
held by such men as -Warton and Tyrwhitt 
must have been the result of a general theory, 
not of a particular examination.* There is, 
on the other hand, no sufficient reason for sup 
posing that the English lay is the source of 
the other two poems. Nor do the special ap 
proximations of the ballads to the romance of 
Horn Child oblige us to conclude that these, 
or any of them, are derived from that poem. 
The particular resemblances are the discolora 
tion of the ring, the elopement with the bride, 
in C, G, H (which is only prepared for, but 
not carried out, in Horn Child), and the 
agreement between the couplet just cited from 
Horn Child, 

Now is Rimnild tuiis wedde, 
Horn brou^t hir to his bedde, 

and the last stanza of A, B, C : 

The bridegroom he had wedded the bride, 

But Young Hind Horn he took her to bed. (A) 

* See the excellent studies of King Horn by Wissmann, 
in Quellen und Forschungen, No 16, and Anglia ; iv, 342 ff. 



17. HIND HORN 



193 



The bridegroom thought he had the bonnie bride 

wed, 
But Young Hyn Horn took the bride to bed. (B) 

Her ain bridegroom had her first wed, 

But Young Hyn Horn had her first to bed. (C) 

The likeness evinces a closer affinity of the 
oral traditions with the later English romance 
than with the earlier English or the French, 
but no filiation. And were filiation to be ac 
cepted, there would remain the question of 
priority. It is often assumed, without a mis 
giving, that oral tradition must needs be 
younger than anything 'that was committed 
to writing some centuries ago ; but this re 
quires in each case to be made out ; there is 
certainly no antecedent probability of that 
kind.* 

Two Scandinavian ballads, as Dr Prior has 
remarked, seem to have been at least suggested 
by the romances of Horn. 

(1.) 'Unge Hr. Tor og Jomfru Tore,' 
Grundtvig, No 72, II, 263, translated by Prior, 
m, 151. Of this there are two traditional 
versions : A from a manuscript of the six 
teenth century, B from one of the seventeenth. 
They agree in story. In A, Tor asks S01- 
ffuermord how long she will wait for him. 
Nine years, she answers, if she can do so with 
out angering her friends. He will be satisfied 
with eight. Eight have passed : a family coun 
cil is held, and it is decided that she shall 
not have Young Tor, but a certain rich count. 
Her father " gives her away " that same day. 
The lady goes up to a balcony and looks sea 
ward. Everybody seems to be coming home 
but her lover. She begs her brother to ride 
down to the shore for her. Tor is just coming 
in, hails the horseman, and eagerly asks how 
are the maids in the isle. The brother tells 
him that his maid has waited eight years, and 
is even now drinking her bridal, but with 
tears. Tor takes his harp and chess-board, and 

* A, B, and E, which had not been printed at the time of 
his writing, will convince Professor Slimming, whose valua 
ble review in Englische Studien, i, 351 ff, supplements, and in 
the matter of derivation, I think, rectifies, Wissmann's Un- 
tersuchnngen, that the king's daughter in the ballads was 
faithful to Horn, and that they were marrying her against 
25 



plays outside the bridal hall till the bride 
hears and knows him. He then enters the 
hall, and asks if there is anybody that can 
win a game of chess. The father replies, No 
body but Salffuermord, and she sits a bride at 
the board. The mother indulgently suggests 
that the midsummer day is long, and the bride 
might well try a game. The bride seeks an 
express sanction of her father, who lessons 
her the livelong day, being suspicious of Tor, 
but towards evening consents to her playing 
a little while, not long. Tor wins the first 
game, and must needs unpack his heart in a 
gibing parable, ending 

' Full hard is gold to win, 
And so is a toothless quean.' 

She wins the next game, takes up the parable, 
and says 

1 Many were glad their faith to hold, 
Were their lot to be controlled.' 

They are soon at one, and resolve to fly. They 
slip away, go aboard Tor's ship, and put off. 
The bride's parents get information, and the 
mother, who is a professor of the black art, 
raises a storm which she means shall sink 
them both. No one can steer the ship but 
the bride. She stands at the helm, with her 
gold crown on, while her lover is lying seasick 
on the deck, and she brings the craft safe 
into Norway, where a second wedding is cele 
brated. 

(2.) The other ballad is ' Herr Lovmand 
og Herr Thor,' Syv, iv, No 68, Danske Viser, 
IV, 180, No 199, translated by Prior, n, 442. 
Lovmand, having betrothed Ingelil, asks how 
long she will be his maid. " Eight years, if I 
may," she says. This term has elapsed ; her 
brothers consult, and give her to rich Herr 
Thor. They drink the bridal for five days ; 
for nine days ; she will not go to bed. On 
the evening of the tenth they begin to use 

her will, as in the romances. This contingency seems not to 
have been foreseen when the ring was given : but it must 
be admitted that it was better for the ring to change, to the 
temporary clouding of the lady's character, than to have 
Horn stay away and the forced marriage go on. 



194 



17. HIND HORN 



force. She begs that she may first go to 
the look-out up-stairs. From there she sees 
ships, great and small, and the sails which her 
own hands have made for her lover. Her 
brother goes down to the sea, as in the other 
ballad, and has a similar interview. Lovmand 
has the excuse of having been sick seven years. 
He borrows the brother's horse, flies faster 
than a bird, and the torch is burning at the 
door of the bride's house when he arrives. 
Thor is reasonable enough to give up the bride, 
and to accept Lovmand's sister. 

The ballad is extremely common in Sweden, 
and at least six versions have been published. 
A, ' Herr Lagman och Herr Thor,' from a 
manuscript of the end of th'e sixteenth cen 
tury, Arwidsson, I, 165, No 24; B, from a 
manuscript, i'6., p. 168 ; C, from oral tra 
dition, p. 171 ; D, ' Lageman och hans Brud,' 
Eva Wigstrb'm, Folkdiktning samlad och 
upptecknad i Skane, p. 29, No 12 ; E, ' Stolt 
Ingrid,' Folkvisor fran Skane, upptecknade 
af E. Wigstrom, in Hazelius, Ur de nordiska 
Folkens Lif, p. 121, No 3 ; P, * Deielill och 
Lageman,' Fagerlund, Anteckningar om Korpo 
och Houtskars Socknar, p. 192, No 3. In A, 
D the bride goes off in her lover's ship ; in 
C he carries her off on his horse, when the 
dancing is at its best, and subsequently, upon 
the king's requisition, settles matters with his 
rival by killing him in single fight. The stolid 
bridegroom, in the others, consents to a peace 
able arrangement. 

Certain points in the story of Horn the 
long absence, the sudden return, the appear 
ance under disguise at the wedding feast, and 
the dropping of the ring into a cup of wine 
obtained from the bride repeat themselves 
in a great number of romantic tales. More 
commonly it is a husband who leaves his wife 
for seven years, is miraculously informed on 
the last day that she is to be remarried on 
the morrow, and is restored to his home in 



* See the ample introduction to ' Henrik af Brunsvig,' in 
Grundtvig, No 114, n, 608 ff. 

t It appears that these half rings are often dug up. 
"Neuere Ausgrabungen haben vielfach auf seiche Ring- 
stiicke gef tihrt, die, als Zeichen unverbruchlicher Treue, einst 



the nick of time, also by superhuman means. 
Horn is warned to go back, in the ballads and 
in Horn Child, by the discoloration of his ring, 
but gets home as he tjan ; this part of the 
story is slurred over in a way that indicates 
a purpose to avoid a supernatural expedient. 

Very prominent among the stories referred 
to is that of Henry of Brunswick [Henry the 
Lion, Reinfrid of Brunswick], and this may 
well be put first, because it is preserved in 
Scandinavian popular ballads.* 

(1.) The latest of these, a Swedish bal 
lad, from a collection made at the end of the 
last century, ' Hertig Henrik,' Arwidsson, No 
168, II, 422, represents Duke Henry as telling 
his wife that he is minded to go off for seven 
years (he says not whither, but it is of course 
to the East) ; should he stay eight or nine, she 
may marry the man she fancies. He cuts a 
ring in two ; gives her one half and keeps the 
other. He is made captive, and serves a 
heathen lord and lady seven years, drawing 
half the plough, " like another horse." His 
liberation is not accounted for, but he was 
probably set free by his mistress, as in the 
ballad which follows. He gets possession of an 
excellent sword, and uses it on an elephant 
who is fighting with a lion. The grateful lion 
transports the duke to his own country while 
he is asleep. A herdsman, of whom he asks 
food, recommends him to go to the Brunswick 
mansion, where there is a wedding, and Duke 
Henry's former spouse is the bride. When 
Henry comes to the house, his daughter is 
standing without ; he asks food for a poor pil 
grim. She replies that she has never heard 
of a pilgrim taking a lion about with him. 
But they give him drink, and the bride, pro 
more, drinks out of the same bowl, and finds 
the half ring in the bottom. The bride feels in 
her pocket and finds her half,| and the two, 
when thrown upon a table, run together and 
make one ring. 

mit dem Geliebten gebrochen, ja wie der Augenschein be- 
weist, entzwei geschnitten, und so ins Grab mitgenommen 
wurden, zum Zeichen dass die Liebe iiber den Tod hinaus 
daure." Rochholz, Schweizersagen aus dem Aargau, n, 
116. 



17. HIND HORN 



195 



(2.) The Danish ballad* (Grundtvig, No 
114, B, from a 17th century manuscript), re 
lates that Duke Henry, in consequence of a 
dream, took leave of his wife, enjoining her to 
wait to the eighth year, and, if then he did 
not return, marry whom she liked. In the 
course of his fights with the heathen, Henry 
was made captive, and had to draw the harrow 
and plough, like a beast. One day (during 
his lord's absence, as we learn from A) the 
heathen lady whom he served set him free. 
He had many adventures, and in one of them 
killed a panther who was pressing a lion hard, 
for which service the lion followed him like a 
dog. The duke then happened upon a her 
mit, who told him that his wife was to be mar 
ried the next day, but he was to go to sleep, 
and not be concerned. He laid his head on a 
stone in the heathen land, and woke in a trice 
to hear German speech from a herdsman's 
mouth. The herdsman confirmed what the 
hermit had said : the duchess was to be mar 
ried on the morrow. The duke went to the 
kitchen as a pilgrim, and sent word to the 
lady that he wished to drink to her. The 
duchess, surprised at this freedom, summoned 
him into her presence. The verses are lost in 
which the cup should be given the pilgrim 
and returned to the lady. When she drank 
off the wine that was left, a half ring lay in 
the glass. 

Danish A, though of the 16th century, does 
not mention the ring. 

(3.) A Flemish broadside, which may orig 
inally have been of the 15th century, relates 
the adventures of the Duke of Brunswick in 
sixty-five stanzas of four long lines : reprinted 
in von der Hagen's Germania, vm, 359, and 
Hoffmann's Niederlandische Volkslieder, No 
2, p. 6 ; Coussemaker, No 47, p. 152 ; abridged 
and made over, in Willems, O. v. L., p. 251, 
No 107. The duke, going to war, tells his 
wife to marry again if he stays away seven 
years. She gives him half of her ring. Seven 
years pass, and the duke, being then in des 
perate plight in a wilderness, is taken off by 
a ship ; by providential direction, no doubt, 

* Translated, with introduction of verses from A, by 
Prior, Ancient Danish Ballads, n, 71. 



though at first it does not so appear. For the 
fiend is aboard, who tells him that his wife is 
to be married to-morrow, and offers, for his 
soul, to carry him to his palace in his sleep 
before day. The duke, relying on heaven and 
his lion, professes to accept the terms : he is 
to be taken to his palace in his sleep. The 
lion rouses his master at the right time, and 
the fiend is baffled. The duke goes to the 
marriage feast, and sends a message to the 
bride that he desires a drink from her in 
memory of her lord. They take him for a 
beggar, but the lady orders him wine in a gold 
cup. The cup goes back to her with the 
duke's half ring in it. She cries, " It is my 
husband ! " joins her half to the one in the 
cup, and the two adhere firmly. 

(4.) A German poem of the 15th century, 
by Michel Wyssenhere, in ninety-eight stanzas 
of seven lines, first printed by Massmann, 
Denkmaeler deutscher Sprache und Literatur, 
p. 122, and afterwards by Erlach, II, 290, and 
elsewhere. The Lord of Brunswick receives 
an impression in a dream that he ought to go 
to the Holy Sepulchre. He cuts a ring in 
two, and gives his wife one half for a souvenir, 
but fixes no time for his absence, and so nat 
urally says nothing about her taking another 
husband. He has the adventures which are 
usual in other versions of the story, and at 
last finds himself among the Wild Hunt (das 
woden her), and obliges one of the company, 
by conjurations, to tell him how it is with his 
wife and children. The spirit informs him 
that his wife is about to marry another man. 
He then constrains the spirit to transport him 
and his lion to his castle. This is done on the 
same terms as in the Flemish poem, and the 
lion wakes his master. His wife offers him 
drink ; he lets his half ring drop in the glass, 
and, upon the glass being returned to the lady, 
she takes out the token, finds it like her half, 
and cries out that she has recovered her dear 
husband and lord. 

(5.) Henry the Lion, a chap-book printed 
in the 16th century, in one hundred and four 
stanzas of eight short verses; reprinted in 
Biisching's Volkssagen, Marchen und Le- 
genden, p. 213 ff, and (modernized) by Sim- 



196 



17. HIND HORN 



rock in the first volume of Die deutschen 
Volksbiicher. The hero goes out simply in 
quest of adventures, and, having lost his ship 
and all his companions, is floating on a raft 
with his lion, when the devil comes to him 
and tells him that his wife is to remarry. A 
compact is made, and the devil balked, as be 
fore. Though we were not so informed at the 
beginning, it now turns out that the duke had 
given a half ring to the duchess seven years 
before, and had bidden her take a second hus 
band if he did not come back in that time. 
The duke sends a servant to beg a drink of 
wine of his wife, and returns the cup, as in 

(3), (4). 

(6.) A ballad in nine seven-line stanzas, 
supposed to be by a Meistersinger, preserved 
in broadsides of about 1550 and 1603, Bohme, 
No 5, p. 30, Erk's Wunderhorn, iv, 111. (7.) 
Hans Sachs's ' Historia,' 1562, in two hundred 
and four verses, Works, ed. 1578, Buch iv, 
Theil ii, Blatt IviiMviiP.* (8.) A Meister- 
singerlied of the end of the 16th century, in 
three twenty-line stanzas, printed in Idunna 
u. Hermode for March 27, 1813 (appended 
to p. 64), and after this, with changes, in 
Kretzschmer, n, 17, No 5. These three agree 
with the foregoing as to the ring. 

(9.) Reinfrid von Braunschweig, c. 1300, ed. 
Bartsch, 1871. Reinfrid is promised by the 
Virgin, who appears to him thrice in vision, 
that he shall have issue if he will go over sea 
to fight the heathen. He breaks a ring which 
his wife had given him, and gives her one half, 
vv. 14,906-11. If he dies, she is to marry, 
for public reasons, vv. 14,398-407 ; but she is 
not to believe a report of his death unless she 
receives his half of the ring back, vv. 14,782- 
816, 15,040-049. The latter part of the ro 
mance not being extant, we do not know the 
conclusion, but a variation as to the use made 
of the ring is probable.f 

The story of Reinfrit is also preserved in 



a Bohemian prose chap-book printed before 
1565. This prose is clearly a poem broken 
up, and it is believed that the original should 
be placed in the first half of the 14th century, 
or possibly at the end of the 13th. The hero 
returns, in pilgrim's garb, after seven years' 
absence, to find his wife about to be handed 
over by her father to another prince. He lets 
his ring fall into a cup, and goes away ; his 
wife recognizes the ring, and is reunited to him. 
The story has passed from the Bohemian into 
Russian and Magyar. Feifalik, Sitzungsbe- 
richte der phil.-hist. Classe der Wiener Akad- 
emie, xxix, 83 ff, the ring at p. 92 ; xxxn, 
322 ff. 

Similar use is made of the ring in other 
German romances. (1.) ' Der edle Moringer ' 
(MS. of 14th century) asks his wife to wait 
seven years for him, while he visits the land 
of St Thomas. He is warned by an angel, at 
the expiration of that period, that he will lose 
her if he does not go back, bewails himself to 
his patron, and is conveyed home in a sleep. 
He begs an alms at his castle-gate in the name 
of God, St Thomas, and the noble Moringer ; 
is admitted to his wife's presence ; sings a lay 
describing his own case, which moves the lady 
much ; throws into a beaker of wine, which 
she sets before him, the ring by which she 
was married to him, sends the cup back to 
her, and is recognized. Bohme, No 6, p. 32 ; 
Uhland, No 298, p. 773. (2.) In the older 
Hildebrandslied, which is of the 14th century, 
or earlier, the hero, returning after an absence 
of thirty-two years, drops his ring into a cup 
of wine presented to him by his wife. Bohme, 
No 1, p. 1 ; Uhland, No 132, p. 330. (3.) 
Wolfdietrich drops Ortnit's ring into a cup of 
wine sent him by Liebgart, who has been ad 
judged to the Graf von Biterne in considera 
tion of his having, as he pretended, slain the 
dragon. The cup is returned to the empress, 
the ring identified, the pretension refuted, and 



* I have not seen this, and depend upon others here. 

t Godeke, ' Reinfrit von Braunschweig/ p. 89, conjectures 
that the half ring was, or would have been, employed in the 
sequel by some impostor (the story may never have been fin 
ished) as evidence of Brunswick's death. A ring is so used 
in a Silesian tradition, of the general character of that of 



Henry the Lion, with the difference that the knight is awak 
ened by a cock's crowing : ' Die Hahnkrahe bei Breslau,' in 
Kern's Schlesische Sagen-Chronik, p. 151. There is a varia 
tion of this last, without the deception by means of the ring, 
in Goedsche's Schlesischer Sagenschatz, p. 37, No 16. 



17. HIND HORN 



197 



Liebgart given to Ortnit's avenger. Wolf- 
dietrich B, ed. Janicke, I, 280 ft, stanzas 767- 
785. (4.) King Rother (whose history has 
passages of the strongest resemblance to 
Horn's), coming to retrieve his wife, who has 
been kidnapped and carried back to her fa 
ther, lands below Constantinople, at a woody 
and hilly place, and assumes a pilgrim's dis 
guise. On his way to the city he meets a 
man who tells him that Ymelot of Babylon 
has invaded Greece, and taken Constantin, his 
wife's father, prisoner; and that Constantin, 
to save his life, has consented to give his 
daughter to the heathen king's son. Rother 
steals into the hall, and even under the table 
at which the royal party are sitting, and con 
trives to slip his ring into the hand of his 
distressed young queen, who, thus assured of 
his presence, immediately recovers her spirits. 
Massmann, Deutsche Gedichte des zwoelften 
Jahrhunderts, Theil ii, p. 213, vv. 3687-3878. 
One of the best and oldest stories of the 
kind we are engaged with is transmitted by 
Ca?sarius of Heisterbach in his Dialogus 
Miraculorum, of the first quarter of the 13th 
century. Gerard, a soldier living in Holen- 
bach (" his grandchildren are still alive, and 
there is hardly a man in the town who does 
not know about this "), being, like Moringer, 
devoted to St Thomas of India, was impelled 
to visit his shrine. He broke a ring and gave 
one half to his wife, saying, Expect me back in 
five years, and marry whom you wish if I do 
not come then. The journey, which would be 
long enough any way, was providentially pro 
tracted. He reached the shrine at last, and 
said his prayers, and then remembered that 
that was the last day of his fifth year. Alas, 
my wife will marry again, he thought ; and 
quite right he was, for the wedding was even 
then preparing. A devil, acting under the 
orders of St Thomas, set Gerard down at his 
own door. He found his wife supping with 
her second partner, and dropped his half ring 
into her cup. She took it out, fitted it to the 
half which had been given her, rushed into his 

* There are marked correspondences between Boccaccio's 
story and the veritable history of Henry the Lion as given 
by Bartsch, Herzog Ernst, cxxvif: e. g., the presents of 



arms, and bade good-by to the new bride 
groom. Ed. Strange, II, 131. 

A tradition closely resembling this has been 
found in Switzerland, Gerard and St Thomas 
being exchanged for Wernhart von Strattlin- 
gen and St Michael. Menzel's Odin, p. 96. 

Another of the most remarkable tales of 
this class is exquisitely told by Boccaccio in 
the Decamerone, G. x, N. ix. Messer Torello, 
going to the crusade, begs his wife to wait a 
year, a month, and a day before she marries 
again. The lady assures him that she will 
never be another man's wife ; but he replies 
that a woman young, beautiful, and of high 
family, as she is, will not be allowed to have 
her way. With her parting embrace she gives 
him a ring from her finger, saying, If I die 
before I see you again, remember me when 
you look on this. The Christians were wasted 
by an excessive mortality, and those who es 
caped the ravages of disease fell into the 
hands of Saladin, and were imprisoned by him 
in various cities, Torello in Alexandria. Here 
he was recognized by Saladin, whom he had 
entertained with the most delicate and splen 
did hospitality a few months before, when the 
soldan was travelling through Italy in dis 
guise. Saladin's return for this courtesy was 
so magnificent as almost to put Lombardy out 
of Torello's head,* and besides he trusted that 
his wife had been informed of his safety by a 
letter which he had sent. This was not so, how 
ever, and the death of another Torello was re 
ported in Italy as his, in consequence of which 
his supposed widow was solicited in marriage, 
and was obliged to consent to take another 
husband after the time should have expired 
which she had promised to wait. A week 
before the last day, Torello learned that the 
ship which carried his letter had been wrecked, 
and the thought that his wife would now 
marry again drove him almost mad. Saladin 
extracted from him the cause of his distress, 
and promised that he should yet be at home 
before the time was out, which Torello, who 
had heard that such things had often been 

clothes by the empress (transferred to Torello's wife), and 
the handsome behavior of two soldans, here attributed to 
Saladin. 



198 



17. HIND HORN 



done, was ready to believe. And in fact, by 
means of one of his necromancers, Saladin 
caused Torello to be transported to Pavia in 
one night the night before the new nuptials. 
Torello appeared at the banquet the next day 
in the guise of a Saracen, under the escort of 
an uncle of his, a churchman, and at the right 
moment sent word to the lady that it was a 
custom in his country for a bride to send her 
cup filled with wine to any stranger who might 
be present, and for him to drink half and cover 
the cup, and for her to drink the rest. To 
this the lady graciously assented. Torello 
drank out most of the wine, dropped in the 
ring which his wife had given him when they 
parted, and covered the cup. The lady, upon 
lifting the cover, saw the ring, knew her hus 
band, and, upsetting the table in her ecstasy, 
threw herself into Torello's arms. 

Tales of this description still maintain them 
selves in popular tradition. 'Der Ring ehe- 
licher Treue,' Gottschalk, Deutsche Volksmar- 
chen, n, 135, relates how Kuno von Falken- 
stein, going on a crusade, breaks his ring and 
gives one half to his wife, begging her to wait 
seven years before she marries again. He 
has the adventures of Henry of Brunswick, 
with differences, and, like Moringer, sings a 
lay describing his own case. The new bride 
groom hands him a cap ; he drops in his half 
ring, and passes the cup to the bride. The 
two halves join of themselves.* Other exam 
ples, not without variations and deficiencies, in 
details, are afforded by ' Der getheilte Trau- 
ring,' Schmitz, Sagen u. Legenden des Eifler 
Volkes, p. 82 ;< Bodman,' Uhland, in Pfeif- 
fer's Germania, IV, 73-76 ; ' Graf Hubert von 
Kalw,' Meier, Deutsche Sagen, u. a. w., aus 
Schwaben, p. 332, No 369, Grimms, Deutsche 
Sagen, No 524 ; ' Der Barenhauter,' Grimms, 
K. u. H. marchen, No 101 ; ' Berthold von 
Neuhaus,' in Kern's Schlesische Sagen-Chro- 
nik, p. 93. 

* Without the conclusion, also in Binder's Schwabische 
Volkssagen, n, 173. These Volksmarchen, by the way, are 
" erzahlt " by Gottschalk. It is not made quite so clear as 
could be wished, whether they are merely re-told. 

t Germaine's husband, after an absence of seven years, 
overcomes his wife's doubts of his identity by exhibiting half 
of her ring, which happened to break the day of their wed- 



A story of the same kind is interwoven 
with an exceedingly impressive adventure re 
lated of Richard Sans-Peur in Les Chroniques 
de Normandie, Rouen, 1487, chap. Ivii, cited 
in Michel, Chronique des Dues de Normandie 
par Benoit, II, 336 ff. A second is told of 
Guillaume Martel, seigneur de Bacqueville ; 
still others of a seigneur Gilbert de Lomblon, 
a comrade of St. Louis in his first crusade. 
Ame'lie de Bosquet, La Normandie romanesque 
et merveilleuse, pp. 465-68, 470. 

A Picard ballad, existing in two versions, 
partly cited by Rathery in the Moniteur Uni- 
versel for August 26, 1853, tells of a Sire de 
Crdqui, who, going beyond seas with his sov 
ereign, breaks his ring and gives half to his 
young wife ; is gone ten years, and made cap 
tive by the Turks, who condemn him to death 
on account of his adhesion to Christ ; and is 
transported to his chateau on the eve of the 
day of his doom. This very day his wife is to 
take another husband, sorely against her will. 
Cre'qui appears in the rags of a beggar, and 
legitimates himself by producing his half of 
the ring (which, in a way not explained by 
Rathery, has been brought back by a swan). 

' Le Retour du Mari,' Puymaigre, Chants 
populaires messins, p. 20, has also some traits 
of ballads of this class. A bridegroom has to 
go on a campaign the very day of his nup 
tials. The campaign lasts seven years, and 
the day of his return his wife is about to re 
marry. He is invited to the wedding supper, 
and towards the close of it proposes to play 
cards to see who shall have the bride. The 
guests are surprised. The soldier says he will 
have the bride without winning her at cards 
or dice, and, turning to the lady, asks, Where 
are the rings I gave you at your wedding 
seven years ago ? She will go for them ; and 
here the story breaks off.f 

The same hard fortune is that of Costan- 
tino, a young Albanian, who is called to the 

ding, or the day after: Puymaigre, p. 11, Champfleury, 
Chansons des Provinces, p. 77. The conclusion to Sir Tris- 
trem, which Scott supplied, " abridged from the French met 
rical romance, in the style of Tomas of Erceldoune," makes 
Ganhardin lay a ring in a cup which Brengwain hands 
Ysonde, who recognizes the ring as Tristrem's token. The 
cup was one of the presents made to King Mark by Tris- 



17. HIND HORN 



199 



service of his king three days after his mar 
riage. He gives back her ring to his wife, 
and tells her he must go to the wars for nine 
years. Should he not return in nine years 
and nine days, he bids her marry. The young 
wife says nothing, waits her nine years and 
nine days, and then, since she is much sought 
for, her father wishes her to marry. She says 
nothing, again, and they prepare for the bridal. 
Costantino, sleeping in the king's palace, has 
a bad dream, which makes him heave a sigh 
that comes to his sovereign's ear. The king 
summons all his soldiers, and inquires who 
heaved that sigh. Costantino confesses it was 
he, and says it was because his wife was mar 
rying. The king orders him to take the swift 
est horse and make for his home. Costantino 
meets his father, and learns that his dream is 
true, presses on to the church, arrives at the 
door at the same time as the bridal procession, 
and offers himself for a bride's-man. When 
they come to the exchange of rings, Costantino 
contrives that his ring shall remain on the 
bride's finger. She knows the ring ; her tears 
burst forth. Costantino declares himself as 
having been already crowned with the lady.* 
Camarda, Appendice al Saggio di Grammato- 
logia, etc., 90-97, a Calabrian-Albanese copy. 
There is a Sicilian, but incomplete, in Vigo, 
Canti popolari siciliani, p. 342 ff, ed. 1857, p. 
695 ff, ed. 1870-74. 

With this belongs a ballad, very common 
in Greece, which, however, has for the most 
part lost even more of what was in all prob 
ability the original catastrophe. ' 'Ai/ayvwpwr- 
/AOS,' Chasiotis, Popular Songs of Epirus, p. 88, 
No 27, comes nearer the common story than 
other versions-! A man who had been twelve 
years a slave after being a bridegroom of 
three days, dreams that his wife is marrying, 



runs to the cellar, and begins to sing dirges. 
The king hears, and is moved. " If it is one 
of the servants, increase his pay ; if a slave, 
set him free." The slave tells his story (in 
three lines) ; the king bids him take a swift 
gray. The slave asks the horses, which is a 
swift gray. Only one answers, an old steed 
with forty wounds. " I am a swift gray ; tie 
two or three handkerchiefs around your head, 
and tie yourself to my back ! " $ He comes 
upon his father pruning the vineyard. " Whose 
sheep are those feeding in the meadows ? " 
"My lost son's." He comes to his mother. 
" What bride are they marrying ? " " My lost 
son's." " Shall I get to them in church while 
they are crowning ? " " If you have a fast 
horse, you will find them crowning ; if you 
have a bad horse, you will find them at ta 
ble." He finds them at church, and calls out, 
A bad way ye have : why do ye not bring out 
the bride, so that strangers may give her the 
cup ? A good way we have, they answer, 
we who bring out the bride, and strangers 
give her the cup. Then he takes out his ring, 
while he is about to present the cup to the 
bride. The bride can read ; she stands and 
reads (his name), and bids the company be 
gone, for her mate has come, the first crowned. 
In other cases we find the hero in prison. 
He was put in for thirty days ; the keys are 
lost, and he stays thirty years. Legrand, p. 
326, No 145 ; NeoeAX^uci 'Avo^c/cra, I, 85, No 19. 
More frequently he is a galley slave: Zam- 
belios, p. 678, No 103 = Passow, No 448; 
Tommaseo, ill, 152 = Passow, No 449 ; Sa- 

kellarios, KvTrpia/cct, in, 37, No 13 : 

a, i, 86, No 20 ; Jeannaraki, 
d, p. 203, No 265. His bad dream [a 
letter from home] makes him heave a sigh 
which shakes the prison, or stops [splits] the 



trera's envoy, and is transferred to Ysonde by Scott. The 
passage has been cited as ancient and genuine. 

* In the Greek rite, rings are used in the betrothal, which 
as a rule immediately precedes the marriage. The rings 
are exchanged by the priest and sponsors (Camarda says 
three times). Crowns, of vine twigs, etc., are the emblems 
in the nuptial ceremony, and these are also changed from 
one head to the other. 

t I was guided to nearly all these Greek ballads by Pro 
fessor Liebrecht's notes, Zur Volkskunde, p. 207. 



t This high-mettled horse is a capital figure in most ot 
the versions. In one of them the caution is given, " Do not 
feel safe in spurring him : he will scatter thy brains ten ells 
below the ground." The gray (otherwise the black) is of 
the same breed as the Russian Dobrynya's, a little way on ; or 
the foal that took Charles the Great, under similar circum 
stances, from Passau to Aachen between morn and eve, 
('Karl der Grosse,' from Enenkels Weltbuch, c. 1250, in 
von der Hagen's Gesammtabenteuer, n, 619 ff); or the 
black in the poem and tale of Thedel von Walmoden. 



200 



17. HIND HORN 



galley.* In Tommaseo, in, 152, on reaching 
the church, he cries, " Stand aside, gentlemen, 
stand aside, my masters ; let the bride pour 
for me." She pours him one cup and two, and 
exclaims (the ring which was dropped into 
the cup having dropped out of the story), My 
John has come back ! Then they both " go 
out like candles." In Sakellarios they embrace 
and fall dead, and when laid in the grave come 
up as a cypress and a citron tree. In the Cretan 
ballad John does not dismount, but takes the 
bride on to the horse and is off with her ; so 
in the beautiful ballad in Fauriel, II, 140, No 
11, ' C H 'ApTrayi?,' " peut-Stre la plus distingue*e 
de ce recueil," which belongs with this group, 
but seems to be later at the beginning and the 
end. Even here the bride takes a cup to pour 
a draught for the horseman. 

In Russia the ring story is told of Dobrynya 
and Nastasya. Dobrynya, sent out shortly 
after his marriage to collect tribute for Vladi 
mir, requests Nastasya to wait for him twelve 
years : then she may wed again, so it be not 
with Alesha. Twelve years pass. Alesha 
avows that he has seen Dobrynya's corpse 
lying on the steppe, and sues for her hand. 
Vladimir supports the suit, and Nastasya is 
constrained to accept this prohibited husband. 
Dobrynya's horse [two doves, a pilgrim] re 
veals to his master what is going on, and car 
ries him home with marvellous speed. Do 
brynya gains admittance to the wedding-feast 
in the guise of a merry-maker, and so pleases 
Vladimir with his singing that he is allowed 
to sit where he likes. He places himself op 
posite Nastasya, drops his ring in a cup, and 
asks her to drink to him. She finds the ring in 

* In Jeannaraki the bey says, " My slave, give us a song, 
and I will free you." John sings of his love, whom he was 
to lose that day. So Zambelios, as above, Toramaseo, p. 
152, and Neo. 'Ai>d\. No. 20. Compare Brunswick, in 
Wyssenhere, and Moringer. 

t Otherwise : Nastasya waits six years, as desired ; is told 
that Dobrynya is dead and is urged to marry Alesha ; will 
not hear of marriage for six years more ; Vladimir then inter 
poses. Dobrynya is furious, as these absentees are sometimes 
pleased to be. He complains that women have long hair 
and short wits, and so does Brunswick in Wyssenhere's 
poem, st. 89. Numerous as are the instances of these long 
absences, the woman is rarely, if ever, represented as in the 
least to blame. The behavior of the man, on the other hand, 



the bottom, falls at his feet and implores par 
don. f Wollner, Volksepik der Grossrussen, 
p. 122 f ; Rambaud, La Russie Epique, p. 86 f. 

We have the ring employed somewhat after 
the fashion of these western tales in Soma- 
deva's story of Vidushaka. The Vidyudharl 
Bbadra, having to part for a while with Vi 
dushaka, for whom she had conceived a pas 
sion, gives him her ring. Subsequently, Vi 
dushaka obliges a rakshas whom he has subdued 
to convey him to the foot of a mountain on 
which Bhadra had taken refuge. Many beau 
tiful girls come to fetch water in golden pitch 
ers from a lake, and, on inquiring, Vidushaka 
finds that the water is for Bhadra. One of 
the girls asks him to lift her pitcher on to her 
shoulder, and while doing this he drops into 
the pitcher Bhadra's ring. When the water 
is poured on Bhadra's hands, the ring falls 
out. Bhadra asks her maids if they have -seen 
a stranger. They say they have seen a mor 
tal, and that he had helped one of them with 
her pitcher. They are ordered to go for the 
youth at once, for he is Bhadra's consort. : 

According to the letter of the ballads, should 
the ring given Horn by his lady turn wan or 
blue, this would signify that she loved another 
man : but though accuracy would be very de 
sirable in such a case, these words are rather 
loose, since she never faltered in her love, and 
submitted to marry another, so far as she sub 
mitted, only under constraint. ' Horn Child,' 
sts 48, 71, agrees with the ballads as to this 
point. We meet a ring of similar virtue in 
' Bonny Bee-Horn,' Jamieson's Popular Bal 
lads, 1, 187, and Buchan's Ballads of the North 
of Scotland, I, 169. 



is in some cases trying. Thus, the Conde Dirlos tells his 
young wife to wait for him seven years, and if he does not 
come in eight to marry the ninth. He accomplishes the ob 
ject of his expedition in three years, but stays fifteen, never 
writes, he had taken an unnecessary oath not to do that 
before he started, and forbids anybody else to write, on 
pain of death. Such is his humor ; but he is very much pro 
voked at being reported dead. Wolf and Hofmann, Pri- 
mavera y Flor de Komances, n, 129, No 164. 

t Katha Sarit Sagara (of the early part of the 12th cen 
tury), Tawney's translation, i, 136 ff. The story is cited by 
Rajna, in Romania, vi, 359. Herr v. Bodman leaves his 
marriage ring in a wash-bowl ! Meier, Deutsche V. m. aus 
Schwaben, 214 f. 



17. HIND HORN 



201 



' But gin this ring should fade or fail, 
Or the stone should change its hue, 

Be sure your love is dead and gone, 
Or she has proved untrue.' 

Jamieson, p. 191. 

In the Roumanian ballad, ' Ring and Hand 
kerchief,' a prince going to war gives his wife 
a ring : if it should rust, he is dead. She gives 
him a gold-embroidered handkerchief : if the 
gold melts, she is dead. Alecsandri, Poesii 
pop. ale Romanilor, p. 20, No 7; Stanley, 
Rouman Anthology, p. 16, p. 193. In Gon- 
zenbach's Sicilianische Marchen, I, 39, No 7, a 
prince, on parting with his sister, gives her a 
ring, saying, So long as the stone is clear, I 
am well : if it is dimmed, that is a sign that I 
am dead. So No 5, at p. 23. A young man, 
in a Silesian story, receives a ring from his 



sweetheart, with the assurance that he can 
count upon her faith as long as the ring holds ; 
and after twenty years' detention in the mines 
of Siberia, is warned of trouble by the ring's 
breaking : Goedsche, Schlesischer Sagen- His- 
torien- u. Legendenschatz, I, 37, No 16. So in 
some copies of ' Lamkin,' the lord has a fore 
boding that some ill has happened to his lady 
from the rings on his fingers bursting in twain : 
Motherwell, p. 291, st. 23 ; Finlay, n, 47, st. 
30.* 

Hind Horn is translated by Grundtvig, Eng. 
og sk. Folkeviser, p. 274, No 42, mainly after 
the copy in Motherwell's Minstrelsy ; by Rosa 
Warrens, Schottische V. 1. der Vorzeit, p. 161, 
No 37, after Buchan (H) ; by Knortz, L. u. 
R. Alt-Englands, p. 184, No 52, after Ailing- 
ham. 



Motherwell's MS., p. 106. From Mrs King, Kilbarchan. 

1 IN Scotland there was a babie born, 

Lill lal, etc. 

And his name it was called young Hind Horn. 
With a fal lal, etc. 

2 He sent a letter to our king 

That he was in love with his daughter Jean. 

3 He 's gien to her a silver wand, 

With seven living lavrocks sitting thereon. 

4 She 's gien to him a diamond ring, 
With seven bright diamonds set therein. 

* The ring given Horn by Rymenhild, in ' King Horn/ 
579 ff ( Wissmann), and in the French romance, 2056 ff, pro 
tects him against material harm or mishap, or assures him 
superiority in fight, as long as he is faithful. So in Buchan's 
version of ' Bonny Bee-Ho'm,' st. 8 : 

' As lang 's this ring 's your body on, 
Your blood shall neer be drawn.' 

" The king's daughter of Linne " gives her champion two 
rings, one of which renders him invulnerable, and the other 
will staunch the blood of any of his men who may be 
wounded : Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Introduction, p. Ivii. 
Eglamore's ring, Percy MS., n, 363, st. 51, will preserve his 
life on water or land. A ring given Wolfdietrich by the 
26 



5 'When this ring grows pale and wan, 
You may know by it my love is gane.' 

6 One day as he looked his ring upon, 
He saw the diamonds pale and wan. 

7 He left the sea and came to land, 

And the first that he met was an old beggar 
man. 

8 ' What news, what news ? ' said young Hind 

Horn; 
1 No news, no news,' said the old beggar man. 

9 ' No news,' said the beggar, ' no news at a', 
But there is a wedding in the king's ha. 



empress, D vui, st. 42, ed. Janicke, doubles his strength 
and makes him fire-proof in his fight with the dragon. The 
ring lent Ywaine by his lady will keep him from prison, 
sickness, loss of blood, or being made captive in battle, and 
give him superiority to all antagonists, so long as he is true 
in love: Ritson, Met. Rom. I, 65, vv 1533 ff. But an In 
dian ring which Reinfrit receives from his wife before he de 
parts for the crusade, 15,066 ff, has no equal, after all ; for, 
besides doing as much as the best of these, it imparts per 
petual good spirits. It is interesting to know that this 
matchless jewel had once been the property of a Scottish 
king, and was given by him to his daughter when she was 
sent to Norway to be married : under convoy of Sir Patrick 
Spens ? 



202 



17. HIND HORN 



10 ' But there is a wedding in the king's ha, 
That has halden these forty days and twa.' 

11 ' Will ye lend me your begging coat ? 
And I '11 lend you my scarlet cloak. 

12 ' Will you lend me your beggar's rung ? 
And I '11 gie you my steed to ride upon. 

13 * Will you lend me your wig o hair, 
To cover mine, because it is fair ? ' 

14 The auld beggar man was bound for the mill, 
But young Hind Horn for the king's hall. 

15 The auld beggar man was bound for to ride, 
But young Hind Horn was bound for the bride. 

16 When he came to the king's gate, 

He sought a drink for Hind Horn's sake. 

17 The bride came down with a glass of wine, 
When he drank out the glass, and dropt in the 

ring. 



18 ' O got ye this by sea or land ? 

Or got ye it off a dead man's hand ? ' 

19 ' I got not it by sea, I got it by land, 

And I got it, madam, out of your own 
hand.' 

20 ' O I '11 cast off my gowns of brown, 
And beg wi you frae town to town. 

21 ' O I '11 cast off my gowns of red, 
And I '11 beg wi you to win my bread.' 

22 ' Ye needna cast off your gowns of brown, 
For I '11 make you lady o many a town. 

23 ' Ye needna cast off your gowns of red, 

It 's only a sham, the begging o my bread.' 

24 The bridegroom he had wedded the bride, 
But young Hind Horn he took her to bed. 



B 



Motherwell's MS., p. 418. From the singing of a servant- 
girl at Ilalkhead. 

1 I NEVER saw my love before, 

With a hey lillelu and a ho lo Ian 
Till I saw her thro an oger bore. 

With a hey down and a hey diddle downie 

2 She gave to me a gay gold ring, 

With three shining diamonds set therein. 

3 And I gave to her a silver wand, 
With three singing lavrocks set thereon. 

4 ' What if these diamonds lose their hue, 
Just when your love begins for to rew ? ' 

5 He 's left the land, and he 's gone to sea, 
And he 's stayd there seven years and a day. 

6 But when he looked this ring upon, 

The shining diamonds were both pale and 
wan. 



7 He 's left the seas and he 's come to the land, 
And there he met with an auld beggar man. 

8 ' What news, what news, thou auld beggar man 
For it is seven years sin I 've seen Ian.' 

9 ' No news,' said the old beggar man, ' at all, 
But there is a wedding in the king's hall.' 

10 ' Wilt thou give to me thy begging coat ? 
And I '11 give to thee my scarlet cloak. 

11 ' Wilt thou give to me thy begging staff ? 
And I '11 give to thee my good gray steed.' 

12 The old beggar man was bound for to ride, 
But Young Hynd Horn was bound for the 

bride. 

13. When he came to the king's gate, 

He asked a drink for Young Hynd Horn's sake. 

14 The news unto the bonnie bride came 
That at the yett there stands an auld man. 



17. HIND HORN 



203 



15 ' There stands an auld man at the king's gate ; 
He asketh a drink for young Hyn Horn's sake.' 

16 ' I '11 go thro nine fires so hot, 

But I '11 give him a drink for Young Hyn Horn's 
sake.' 

17 She gave him a drink out of her own hand ; 
He drank out the drink and he dropt in the 

ring. 

18 ( Got thou 't by sea, or got thou 't by land ? 
Or got thou 't out of any dead man's hand ? ' 

19 ' I got it not by sea, but I got it by land, 
For I got it out of thine own hand.' 



20 ' I '11 cast off my gowns of brown, 
And I '11 follow thee from town to town. 

21 ' I '11 cast off my gowns of red, 

And along with thee I '11 beg my bread.' 

22 ' Thou need not cast off thy gowns of brown, 
For I can make thee lady of many a town. 

23 ' Thou need not cast off thy gowns of red, 
For I can maintain thee with both wine and 

bread.' 

24 The bridegroom thought he had the bonnie 

bride wed, 
But Young Hyn Horn took the bride to bed. 



a. Motherwell's Note-Book, p. 42 : from Agnes Lyle. b. 
Motherwell's MS., p. 413 : from the singing of Agnes Lyle, 
Kilbarchan, August 24, 1825. 

1 YOUNG Hyn Horn 's to the king's court gone, 

Hoch hey and an ney O 
He 's fallen in love with his little daughter 

Jean. 
Let my love alone, I pray you 

2 He 's bocht to her a little gown, 

With seven broad flowers spread it along. 

3 She 's given to him a gay gold ring. 
The posie upon it was richt plain. 

4 ' When you see it losing its comely hue, 
So will I my love to you.' 

5 Then within a little wee, 

Hyn Horn left land and went to sea. 

6 When he lookt his ring upon, 
He saw it growing pale and wan. 

7 Then within a little [wee] again, 

Hyn Horn left sea and came to the land. 

8 As he was riding along the way, 
There he met with a jovial beggar. 



9 < What news, what news, old man ? ' he did say : 

' This is the king's young dochter's wedding 
j > 

** 

10 ' If this be true you tell to me, 
You must niffer clothes with me. 

H < You '11 gie me your cloutit coat, 
I '11 gie you my fine velvet coat. 

12 < You '11 gie me your cloutit pock, 

I 'U gi e you my purse ; it '11 be no joke.' 

13 ' Perhaps there['s] nothing in it, not one baw- 

bee ; ' 

< Yes, there 's gold and silver both,' said he. 

14 < You '11 gie me your bags of bread, 
And I '11 gie you my milk-white steed.' 

15 When they had niffered all, he said, 

< You maun learn me how I '11 beg.' 

16 ' When you come before the gate, 

You '11 ask for a drink for the highman's sake.' 

17 When that he came before the gate, 

He calld for a drink for the highman's sake. 

18 The bride cam tripping down the stair, 
To see whaten a bold beggar was there. 



204 



17. HIND HORN 



19 She gave him a drink with her own hand ; 
He loot the ring drop in the can. 

20 ' Got ye this hy sea or land ? 

Or took ye 't aff a dead man's hand ? ' 

21 ' I got na it by sea nor land, 
But I got it aff your own hand.' 



22 The bridegroom cam tripping down the stair, 
But there was neither bride nor beggar there. 

23 Her ain bridegroom had her first wed, 
But Young Hyn Horn had her first to bed. 



Cromek's Select Scotish Songs, n, 204. 

1 NEAR Edinburgh was a young son born, 

Hey lilelu an a how low Ian 
An his name it was called young Hyn Horn. 
An it 's hey down down deedle airo 

2 Seven long years he served the king, 

An it 's a' for the sake of his daughter Jean. 

3 The king an angry man was he ; 

He send young Hyn Horn to the sea. 

4 An on his finger she put a ring. 

***** 

5 ' When your ring turns pale and wan, 
Then I 'm in love wi another man.' 

***** 

6 Upon a day he lookd at his ring, 
It was as pale as anything. 

7 He 's left the sea, an he 's come to the Ian, 
An there he met an auld beggar man. 

8 ' What news, what news, my auld beggar man? 
What news, what news, by sea or by Ian ? ' 



9 ' Nae news, nae news,' the auld beggar said, 
' But the king's dochter Jean is going to be 
wed.' 

10 ' Cast off, cast off thy auld beggar-weed, 
An I '11 gie thee my gude gray steed.' 

***** 

11 When he cam to our guid king's yet, 

He sought a glass o wine for young Hyn Horn's 
sake. 

12 He drank out the wine, an he put in the ring, 
An he bade them carry 't to the king's dochter 

Jean. 
***** 

13 ' O gat ye 't by sea, or gat ye 't by Ian ? 
Or gat ye 't aff a dead man's han ? ' 

14 ' I gat na 't by sea, I gat na 't by Ian, 
But I gat it out of your own han.' 

***** 

15 'Go take away my bridal gown, 

For I '11 follow him frae town to town.' 

16 ' Ye need na leave your bridal gown, 
For I '11 make ye ladie o' mony a town.' 



E 

Motherwell's MS., p. 91. From the recitation of Mrs 
Wilson. 

***** 
1 HTND HORN he has lookt on his ring, 
Hey ninny ninny, how ninny nanny 
And it was baith black and blue, 
And she is either dead or she 's married. 
And the barck and the broom blooms bon- 
nie 



2 Hynd Horn he has shuped to land, 

And the first he met was an auld beggar man. 

3 ' What news, what news, my silly auld man ? 
For it is seven years syne I have seen land. 

4 * What news, what news, my auld beggar man ? 
What news, what news, by sea or by land ? ' 

5 'There is a king's dochter in the east, 

And she has been marryed these nine nights 
past. 



17. HIND HORN 



205 



6 ' Intil the bride's bed she winna gang 
Till she hears tell of her Hynd Horn.' 



7 ' Cast aff, cast aff thy auld beggar weed, 
And I will gie thee my gude gray steed.' 



P 



Lowran Castle, or the Wild Boar of Cnrridoo: with 
other Tales. By Eobert Trotter, Dumfries, 1822, p. 6. 
From the recitation of a young friend. 

1 IN Newport town this knight was born, 

Hey lily loo, hey loo Ian 
And they Ve called him Young Hynd Horn. 
Fal lal la, fal the dal the dady 

2 Seven long years he served the king, 
For the love of his daughter Jean. 

3 He courted her through a wimble bore, 
The way never woman was courted before. 

4 He gave her through a silver wand, 
With three singing laverocks there upon. 

5 She gave him back a gay gold ring, 
With three bright diamonds glittering. 

6 ' When this ring grows pale and blue, 
Fair Jeanie's love is lost to you.' 



7 Young Hynd Horn is gone to sea, 
And there seven long years staid he. 

8 When he lookd his ring upon, 
It grew pale and it grew wan. 

9 Young Hynd Horn is come to land, 
When he met an old beggar man. 

10 ' What news, what news doth thee betide ? ' 
' No news, but Princess Jeanie 's a bride.' 

11 ' Will ye give me your old brown cap ? 
And I '11 give you my gold-laced hat. 

12 ' Will ye give me your begging weed ? 
And I '11 give you my good grey steed.' 

13 The beggar has got on to ride, 

But Young Hynd Horn 's bound for the bride. 

* # * # # 



G 

Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 135. " From the 
recitation of my niece, M. Kinnear, 23 Aug*, 1826:" the 
north of Scotland. 

1 ' HYNDE HORN 's bound love, and Hynde 

Horn's free, 
Whare was ye born, or in what countrie ? ' 

2 ' In gude greenwud whare I was born, 
And all my friends left me forlorn. 

3 ' I gave my love a silver wand ; 
That was to rule oure all Scotland. 

4 ' My love gave me a gay gowd ring ; 
That was to rule abune a' thing.' 

5 ' As lang as that ring keeps new in hue, 
Ye may ken that your love loves you. 

6 ' But whan that ring turns pale and wan, 

Ye may ken that your love loves anither man.' 



7 He hoisted up his sails, and away sailed he, 
Till that he cam to a foreign countrie. 

8 He looked at his ring ; it was turnd pale and 

wan ; 
He said, ' I wish I war at hame again.' 

9 He hoisted up his sails, and hame sailed he, 
Until that he came to his ain countrie. 

10 The first ane that he met wi 
Was wi a puir auld beggar man. 

11 ' What news, what news, my silly old man ? 
What news hae ye got to tell to me ? ' 

12 ' Na news, na news,' the puir man did say, 
'But this is our queen's wedding day.' 

13 ' Ye '11 lend me your begging weed, 
And I '11 gie you my riding steed.' 



206 



17. HIND HORN 



14 ' My begging weed is na for thee, 
Your riding steed is na for me.' 

15 But he has changed wi the beggar man, 



16 ' Which is the gate that ye used to gae ? 
And what are the words ye beg wi ? ' 

17 ' Whan ye come to yon high hill, 

Ye '11 draw your bent bow nigh until. 

18 ' Whan ye come to yonder town, 

Ye '11 let your bent bow low fall down. 

19 'Ye '11 seek meat for St Peter, ask for St 

Paul, 
And seek for the sake of Hynde Horn all. 

20 ' But tak ye f rae nane of them a', 

Till ye get frae the bonnie bride hersel O.' 

21 Whan he cam to yon high hill, 
He drew his bent bow nigh until. 

22 And whan he cam to yonder town, 
He lute his bent bow low fall down. 

23 He saught meat for St Peter, he askd for St 

Paul, 

And he sought for the sake of Hynde Horn 
all. 

24 But he would tak frae nane o them a', 
Till he got frae the bonnie bride hersel O. 



25 The bride cam tripping doun the stair, 
Wi the scales o red gowd on her hair. 

26 Wi a glass of red wine in her hand, 
To gie to the puir auld beggar man. 

27 It 's out he drank the glass o wine, 
And into the glass he dropt the ring. 

28 ' Got ye 't by sea, or got ye 't by land, 
Or got ye 't aff a drownd man's hand ? ' 

29 ' I got na 't by sea, I got na 't by land, 
Nor got I it aff a drownd man's hand. 

30 ' But I got it at my wooing, 
And I '11 gie it at your wedding.' 

31 ' I '11 tak the scales o gowd frae my head, 
I '11 follow you, and beg my bread. 

32 ' I '11 tak the scales of gowd frae my hair, 
I '11 follow you for evermair.' 

33 She has tane the scales o gowd frae her head, 
She has followed him to beg her bread. 

34 She has tane the scales o gowd frae her hair, 
And she has followed him for evermair. 

35 But atween the kitchen and the ha, 
There he lute his cloutie cloak fa. 

36 And the red gowd shined oure him a', 

And the bride frae the bridegroom was stown 
awa. 



Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, n, 268. 

1 ' Horo HORN fair, and Hynd Horn free, 

where were you born, in what countrie ? ' 

2 ' In gude greenwood, there I was born, 
And all my Eorbears me beforn. 

3 ' seven years I served the king, 
And as for wages, I never gat nane ; 

4 ' But ae sight o his ae daughter, 
And that was thro an augre bore. 



5 ' My love gae me a siller wand, 
'T was to rule ower a' Scotland. 

6 ' And she gae me a gay gowd ring, 
The virtue o 't was above a' thing.' 

7 ' As lang 's this ring it keeps the hue, 
Ye '11 know I am a lover true : 

8 ' But when the ring turns pale and wan, 
Ye '11 know I love another man.' 

9 He hoist up sails, and awa saild he, 
And saild into a far countrie. 



17. HIND HORN 



207 



10 And when he lookd upon his ring, 
He knew she loved another man. 

11 He hoist up sails and home came he, 
Home unto his ain countrie. 

12 The first he met on his own land, 
It chancd to be a beggar man. 

13 ' What news, what news, my gude auld man ? 
What news, what news, hae ye to me ? ' 

14 ' Nae news, nae news,' said the auld man, 
' The morn's our queen's wedding day.' 

15 ' Will ye lend me your begging weed ? 
And I '11 lend you my riding steed.' 

16 ' My begging weed will ill suit thee, 
And your riding steed will ill suit me.' 

17 But part be right, and part be wrang, 
Frae the beggar man the cloak he wan. 

18 ' Auld man, come tell to me your leed ; 
What news ye gie when ye beg your bread.' 

19 ' As ye walk up unto the hill, 
Your pike staff ye lend ye till. 

20 ' But whan ye come near by the yett, 
Straight to them ye will upstep. 

21 ' Take nane frae Peter, nor frae Paul, 
Nane frae high or low o them all. 

22 ' And frae them all ye will take nane, 
Until it comes frae the bride's ain hand.' 



23 He took nane frae Peter nor frae Paul, 
Nane frae the high nor low o them all. 

24 And frae them all he would take nane, 
Until it came frae the bride's ain hand. 

25 The bride came tripping down the stair, 
The combs o red gowd in her hair. 

26 A cup o redr wine in her hand, 
And that she gae to the beggar man. 

27 Out o the cup he drank the wine, 
And into the cup he dropt the ring. 

28 ' got ye 't by sea, or got ye't by land, 
Or got ye 't on a drownd man's hand ? ' 

29 ' I got it not by sea, nor got it by land, 
Nor got I it on a drownd man's hand. 

30 ' But I got it at my wooing gay, 

And I '11 gie 't you on your wedding day.' 

31 ' I '11 take the red gowd frae my head, 
And follow you, and beg my bread. 

32 ' I '11 take the red gowd frae my hair, 
And follow you for evermair.' 

33 Atween the kitchen and the ha, 
He loot his cloutie cloak down fa. 

34 And wi red gowd shone ower them a', 
And frae the bridegroom the bride he sta. 



A. I 2 , 8 1 , 14 2 , 15 2 , 16 2 , 24 2 . Hindhorn. 

B. The burden is given in Motherwell, Appendix, 
p. xviii, thus : 

With a hey lilloo and a how lo Ian 

And the birk and the brume blooms bonnie. 

D. 
12 2 , 13 2 . Hyndhorn. 15 2 , 16 2 , 24 2 . Hynhorn. E. 

C. a. 5 2 . to see. 5 2 , 7 2 . Hynhorn. 23 2 . H. horn. 

II 1 . clouted. 
II 1 , 14 1 . give. 



14 2 . white milk. b. milk-white. 

16 2 . hymen's, b. highman's. 

22 1 . can. 
b. 5 2 , 7 2 , 23 2 . Hynhorn. 

7 1 . little wee. 

13 1 . there 's. 
I 2 , 3 2 , II 2 . Hynhorn. 
The second line of the burden stands after st. 2 

in MS. 

2 1 . The MS reading may be sheeped. 

2 1 , 6 2 . Hyndhorn. 



208 



18. SIR LIONEL 



G. After my niece, M. Kinnear, etc., stands in pen 
cil Christy Smith. 

15. On the opposite page, over against this 
stanza, is written: 

But part by richt, or part be wrang, 
The auldman's duddie cloak he 's on. 

G and H are printed by Kinloch and by 
Buchan in four-line stanzas. 

The stanzas printed by Motherwell, which 
have not been found in his manuscripts, are : 



10 Seven lang years he has been on the sea, 
And Hynd Horn has looked how his ring 
may be. 

21 The auld beggar man cast off his coat, 
And he 's taen up the scarlet cloak. 

22 The auld beggar man threw down his staff, 
And he has mounted the good gray steed. 

29 She went to the gate where the auld man 

did stand, 

And she gave him a drink out of her own 
hand. 



18 
SIR LIONEL. 

A. ' Sir Lionell,' Percy MS., p. 32, Hales and Furni- Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of Eng- 
vall, I, 75. land, p. 124. 

B. ' Isaac-a-Bell and Hugh the Graeme,' Christie, Tra- D. Allies, as above, p. 118. 
ditional Ballad Airs, i, 110. 

E. a. 'The Old Man and his Three Sons,' Bell, as 

C. a. ' The Jovial Hunter of Bromsgrove,' Allies, The above, p. 250. b. Mr Robert White's papers. 
British, Roman and Saxon Antiquities and Folk-Lore . 

of Worcestershire, 2d ed.,p. 116. b. Bell's Ancient F. Allies, as above, p. 120. 



B can be traced in Banffshire, according to 
Christie, for more than a hundred years, 
through the old woman that sang it, and her 
forbears. C a, D were originally published 
by Allies in the year 1845, in a pamphlet 
bearing the title The Jovial Hunter of Broms- 
grove, Home the Hunter, and Robin Hood. 
No intimation as to the source of his copy, 
C b, is given by Bell, i. e., Dixon. Appar 
ently all the variations from Allies, C a, are 
of the nature of editorial improvements. E a 
is said (1857) to be current in the north of 
England as a nursery song. 

One half of A, the oldest and fullest copy 
of this ballad (the second and fourth quar 
ters), is wanting in the Percy MS. What 
we can gather of the story is this. A knight 



finds a lady sitting in a tree, A, C, D [under 
a tree, E] , who tells him that a wild boar has 
slain Sir Broning, A [killed her lord and thirty 
of his men, C ; worried her lord and wounded 
thirty, B]. The knight kills the boar, B-D, 
and seems to have received bad wounds in the 
process, A, B ; the boar belonged to a giant, 
B ; or a wild woman, C, D. The knight is 
required to forfeit his hawks and leash, and 
the little finger of his right hand, A [his 
horse, his hound, and his lady, C]. He re 
fuses to submit to such disgrace, though in no 
condition to resist, A ; the giant allows him 
time to heal his wounds, forty days, A ; thirty- 
three, B ; and he is to leave his lady as se 
curity for his return, A. At the end of this 
time the knight comes back sound and well, 



18. SIR LIONEL 



209 



A, B, and kills the giant as he had killed the 
boar, B. C and D say nothing of the knight 
having been wounded. The wild woman, to re 
venge her " pretty spotted pig," flies fiercely 
at him, and he cleaves her in two. The last 
quarter of the Percy copy would, no doubt, 
reveal what became of the lady who was sit 
ting in the tree, as to which the traditional 
copies give no light. 

Our ballad has much in common with the 
romance of ' Sir Eglamour of Artois,' Percy 
MS., Hales and Furnivall, n, 338 ; Thornton 
Romances, Camden Society, ed. Halliwell, p. 
121 ; Ellis, Metrical Romances, from an early 
printed copy, Bohn's ed., p. 527. Eglamour, 
simple knight, loving Christabel, an earl's 
daughter, is required by the father, who does 
not wish him well, to do three deeds of arms, 
the second being to kill a boar in the kingdom 
of Sattin or Sydon, which had been known to 
slay forty armed knights in one day (Percy, 
st. 37). This Eglamour does, after a very se 
vere fight. The boar belonged to a giant, who 
had kept him fifteen years to slay Christian 
men (Thornton, st. 42, Percy, 40). This giant 
had demanded the king of Sy don's daughter's 
hand, and comes to carry her off, by force, if 
necessary, the day following the boar-fight. 
Eglamour, who had been found by the king 
in the forest, in a state of exhaustion, after a 
contest which had lasted to the third or fourth 
day, and had been taken home by him and 
kindly cared for, is now ready for action again. 
He goes to the castle walls with a squire, 
who carries the boar's head on a spear. The 
giant, seeing the head, exclaims, 

1 Alas, art thou dead. ! 

My trust was all in thee ! 
Now by the law that I lieve in, 
My little speckled hoglin, 

Dear bought shall thy death be.' 

Percy, st. 44. 

Eglamour kills the giant, and returns to Ar 
tois with both heads. The earl has another 
adventure ready for him, and hopes the third 
chance may quit all. Eglamour asks for twelve 
weeks to rest his weary body. 

B comes nearest the romance, and possibly 

27 



even the wood of Tore is a reminiscence of Ar 
tois. The colloquy with the giant in B is also, 
perhaps, suggested by one which had previous 
ly taken place between Eglamour and another 
giant, brother of this, after the knight had 
killed one of his harts (Percy, st. 25). C 11, 
D 9 strikingly resemble the passage of the ro 
mance cited above (Percy, 44, Thornton, 47). 

The ballad has also taken up something 
from the romance of ' Eger and Grime,' Percy 
MS., Hales and Furnivall, I, 341 ; Laing, Early 
Metrical Tales, p. 1 ; ' Sir Eger, Sir Grahame, 
and Sir Gray-Steel,' Ellis's Specimens, p. 546. 
Sir Egrabell (Rackabello, Isaac-a-Bell), Lio 
nel's father, recalls Sir Eger, and Hugh the 
Graeme in B is of course the Grahame or 
Grime of the romance, the Hugh being de 
rived from a later ballad. Gray-Steel, a man 
of proof, although not quite a giant, cuts off 
the little finger of Eger's right hand, as the 
giant proposes to do to Lionel in A 21. 

The friar in B I 3 , 4 1 , may be a corruption 
of Ryalas, or some like name, as the first line 
of the burden of E, 'Wind well, Lion, good 
hunter,' seems to be a perversion of ' Wind 
well thy horn, good hunter,' in C, D.* This 
part of the burden, especially as it occurs in 
A, is found, nearly, in a fragment of a song 
of the time of Henry VIII, given by Mr 
Chappell in his Popular Music of the Olden 
Time, I, 58, as copied from " MSS Reg., Ap 
pend. 58." 

' Blow thy home, hunter, 

Cum, blow thy home on hye ! 

In yonder wode there lyeth a doo, 
In fayth she woll not dye. 

Cum, blow thy home, hunter, 

Cum, blow thy borne, joly hunter ! ' 

A terrible swine is a somewhat favorite fig 
ure in romantic tales. A worthy peer of the 
boar of Sydon is killed by King Arthur in 
4 The Avowynge of King Arthur,' etc., Rob- 
son, Three Early English Metrical Romances 
(see st. xii). But both of these, and even the 
Erymanthian, must lower their bristles before 

* The friar might also be borrowed from ' The Felon Sow 
and the Friars of Richmond/ but this piece does not appear 
to have been extensively known. 



210 



18. SIR LIONEL 



the boar in ' Kilhwch and Olwen,' Mabino- 
gion, Part- iv, pp. 309-16. Compared with 
any of these, the " felon sow " presented by 
Ralph Rokeby to the friars of Richmond 
(Evans, Old Ballads, n, 270, ed. 1810, Scott, 
Appendix to Rokeby, note M) is a tame vil- 
latic pig : the old mettle is bred out. 

Professor Grundtvig has communicated to 
me a curious Danish ballad of this class, * Lim- 
grises Vise,' from a manuscript of the latter 
part of the 16th century. A very intractable 
damsel, after rejecting a multitude of aspi 
rants, at last marries, with the boast that her 
progeny shall be fairer than Christ in heaven. 
She has a litter of nine pups, a pig, and a boy. 
The pig grows to be a monster, and a scourge 
to the whole region. 

He drank up the water from dike and from dam, 
And ate up, besides, both goose, gris and lamb. 



The beast is at last disposed of by baiting 
him with the nine congenerate dogs, who 
jump down his throat, rend liver and lights, 
and find their death there, too. This ballad 
smacks of the broadside, and is assigned to 
the 16th century. A fragment of a Swedish 
swine-ballad, in the popular tone, is given by 
Dybeck, Runa, 1845, p. 23 ; another, very sim 
ilar, in Axelson's Vesterdalarne, p. 179, ' Kol- 
oregris,' and Professor Sophus Bugge has re 
covered some Norwegian verses. The Danish 
story of the monstrous birth of the pig has 
become localized : the Liimfiord is related to 
have been made by the grubbing of the Lim- 
gris : Thiele, Danmarks Folkesagn, n. 19, two 
forms. 

There can hardly be anything but the name 
in common between the Lionel of this ballad 
and Lancelot's cousin-german. 



Percy MS., p. 32, Hales and Furnivall, i, 75. 

1 SIB EGBABELL had sonnes three, 

Blow thy home, good hunter 
Sir Lyonell was one of these. 
As I am a gentle hunter 

2 Sir Lyonell wold on hunting ryde, 
Vntill the forrest him beside. 

3 And as he rode thorrow the wood, 
Where trees and harts and all were good, 

4 And as he rode over the plaine, 
There he saw a knight lay slaine. 

t 

5 And as he rode still on the plaine, 
He saw a lady sitt in a graine. 

6 ' Say thou, lady, and tell thou me, 
What blood shedd heere has bee.' 

7 ' Of this blood shedd we may all rew, 
Both wife and childe and man alsoe. 

8 ' For it is not past 3 days right 
Since Sir Broninge was mad a knight. 



9 ' Nor it is not more than 3 dayes agoe 
Since the wild bore did him sloe.' 

10 ' Say thou, lady, and tell thou mee, 
How long thou wilt sitt in that tree.' 

11 She said, ( I will sitt in this tree 
Till my friends doe feitch me.' 

12 ' Tell me, lady, and doe not misse, 
Where that your friends dwellings is.' 

13 ' Downe,' shee said, ' in yonder towne, 
There dwells my freinds of great renowne.' 

14 Says, ' Lady, He ryde into yonder towne 
And see wether yowr friends beene bowne. 

15 ' I my self wilbe the formost man 

That shall come, lady, to feitch you home.' 

16 But as he rode then by the way, 
He thought it shame to goe away ; 

17 And vmbethought him of" a wile, 
How he might that wilde bore beguile. 

18 ' Sir Egrabell,' he said, ' my father was ; 
He neuer left lady in such a case ; 



18. SIR LIONEL 



211 



19 ' Noe more will I ' . . . 

***** 

20 ' And a[fter] that thou shalt doe mee 
Thy hawkes and thy lease alsoe. 

21 ' Soe shalt thou doe at my command 
The litle fingar on thy right hand.' 

22 ' Ere I wold leaue all this with thee, 
Vpoon this ground I rather dyee.' 

23 The gyant gaue Sir Lyonefl such a blow, 
The fyer out of his eyen did throw. 

24 He said then, ' if I were saffe and sound, 
As with-in this hower I was in this ground, 

25 ' It shold he in the next towne told 
How deare thy buffett it was sold ; 

26 ' And it shold haue beene in the next towne 

said 
How well thy buffett it were paid.' 

27 ' Take 40 daies into spite, 

To heale thy wounds that beene soe wide. 

28 ' When 40 dayes beene at an end, 
Heere meete thou me both safe and sound. 

29 ' And till thou come to me againe, 
With me thoust leaue thy lady alone.' 



30 When 40 dayes was at an end, 

Sir LyoneZl of his wounds was healed sound. 

31 He tooke with him a litle page, 

He gaue to him good yeomans wage. 

32 And as he rode by one hawthorne, 
Even there did hang his hunting home. 

33 He sett his bugle to his mouth, 
And blew his bugle still full south. 

34 He blew his bugle lowde and shrill ; 
The lady heard, and came him till. 

35 Sayes, ' the gyant lyes vnder yond low, 
And well he heares your bugle blow. 

36 ' And bidds me of good cheere be, 
This night heele supp with you and me.' 

37 Hee sett that lady vppon a steede, 
And a litle boy before her yeede. 

38 And said, ' lady, if you see that I must dye, 
As euer you loued me, from me flye. 

39 ' But, lady, if you see that I must liue,' 

***** 



B 



Christie, Traditional Ballad Airs, i, 110. From the sing 
ing of an old woman in Buckie, Enzie, Banffshire. 

1 A KNICHT had two sons o sma fame, 

Hey nien nanny 

Isaac-a-Bell and Hugh the Graeme. 
And the norlan flowers spring bonny 

2 And to the youngest he did say, 
' What occupation will you hae ? 

When the, etc. 

3 ' Will you gae fee to pick a mill ? 
Or will you keep hogs on yon hill ? ' 

While the, etc. 



4 ' I winna fee to pick a mill, 
Nor will I keep hogs on yon hill. 

While the, etc. 

5 ' But it is said, as I do hear, 
That war will last for seven year, 

And the, etc. 

6 ' With a giant and a boar 

That range into the wood o Tore. 
And the, etc. 

7 ' You '11 horse and armour to me provide, 
That through Tore wood I may safely ride.' 

When the, etc. 



212 



18. SIR LIONEL 



8 The knicht did horse and armour provide, 
That through Tore wood Graeme micht safely 

ride. 
When the, etc. 

9 Then he rode through the wood o Tore, 
And up it started the grisly boar. 

When the, etc. 

10 The firsten bout that he did ride, 
The boar he wounded in the left side. 

When the, etc. 

11 The nexten bout at the boar he gaed, 
He from the boar took aff his head. 

And the, etc. 

12 As he rode back through the wood o Tore, 
Up started the giant him before. 

And the, etc. 

13 ' O cam you through the wood o Tore, 
Or did you see my good wild boar ? ' 

And the, etc. 

14 ' I cam now through the wood o Tore, 
But woe be to your grisly boar. 

And the, etc. 



15 ' The firsten bout that I did ride, 

I wounded your wild boar in the side. 
And the, etc. 

16 ( The nexten bout at him I gaed, 

From your wild boar I took aff his head.' 
And the, etc. 

17 ' Gin you have cut aff the head o my boar, 
It 's your head shall be taen therfore. 

And the, etc. 

18 ' I '11 gie you thirty days and three, 

To heal your wounds, then come to me.' 
While the, etc. 

19 ' It 's after thirty days and three, 
When my wounds heal, I'll come to thee.' 

When the, etc. .-* 

20 So Graeme is back to the wood o Tore, 

And he 's killd the giant, as he killd the 

boar. 
And the, etc. 





a. Allies, The British, Eoman, and Saxon Antiquities 
and Folk-Lore of Worcestershire, 2d ed., p. 116. From the 
recitation of Benjamin Brown, of Upper Wick, about 1845. 
b. Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of 
England, edited by Robert Bell, p. 124. 

1 SIR ROBERT BOLTON had three sons, 

Wind well thy horn, good hunter 
And one of them was called Sir Ilyalas. 
For he was a jovial hunter 

2 He rang'd all round down by the woodside, 
Till up in the top of a tree a gay lady he 

spy'd. 
For he was, etc. 

3 ' what dost thou mean, fair lady ? ' said he ; 

' the wild boar has killed my lord and his 

men thirty.' 
As thou beest, etc. 



4 ' what shall I do this wild boar to see ? ' 

'O thee blow a blast, and he'll come unto 

thee.' 
As thou beest, etc. 

5 [Then he put his horn unto his mouth], 
Then he blowd a blast full north, east, west 

and south. 
As he was, etc. 

6 And the wild boar heard him full into his 

den; 
Then he made the best of his speed unto 

him. 
To Sir Ryalas, etc. 

7 Then the wild boar, being so stout and so 

strong, 

He thrashd down the trees as he came along. 
To Sir Ryalas, etc. 



18. SIB LIONEL 



213 



8 ' what dost thou want of me ? ' the wild boar 

said he ; 
' I think in my heart I can do enough for 

thee.' 
For I am, etc. 

9 Then they fought four hours in a long sum 

mer's day, 

Till the wild boar fain would have gotten away. 
From Sir Ryalas, etc. 

10 Then Sir Eyalas drawd his broad sword with 

might. 

And he fairly cut his head off quite. 
For he was, etc. 

11 Then out of the wood the wild woman 

flew : 
' Oh thou hast killed my pretty spotted 

pig! 
As thou beest, etc. 



12 ' There are three things I do demand of thee, 
It 's thy horn, and thy hound, and thy gay 

lady.' 
As thou beest, etc. 

13 ' If these three things thou dost demand of me, 
It 's just as my sword and thy neck can agree.' 

For I am, etc. 

14 Then into his locks the wild woman flew, 

Till she thought in her heart she had torn him 

through. 
As he was, etc. 

15 Then Sir Ryalas drawd his broad sword again, 
And he fairly split her head in twain. 

For he was, etc. 

16 In Bromsgrove church they both do lie ; 
There the wild boar's head is picturd by 

Sir Ryalas, etc. 



Allies, Antiquities and Folk-Lore of Worcestershire, p. 
118. From the recitation of Oseman, Hartlebury. 

1 As I went up one brook, one brook, 

Well wind the horn, good hunter 
I saw a fair maiden sit on a tree top. 
As thou art the jovial hunter 

2 I said, ' Fair maiden, what brings you here ? ' 
' It is the wild boar that has drove me here.' 

As thou art, etc. 

3 ' I wish I could that wild boar see ; ' 

Well wind the horn, good hunter, 
And the wild boar soon will come to thee.' 
As thou art, etc. 

4 Then he put his horn unto his mouth, 

And he blowd both east, west, north and 

south. 
As he was, etc. 

5 The wild boar hearing it into his den, 

[Then he made the best of his speed unto 
him]. 



6 He whetted his tusks for to make them strong, 
And he cut down the oak and the ash as he 

came along. 
For to meet with, etc. 

7 They fought five hours one long summer's day, 
Till the wild boar he yelld, and he 'd fain run 

away. 
And away from, etc. 

8 then he cut his head clean off, 



9 Then there came an old lady running out of 

the wood, 
Saying, ' You have killed my pretty, my pretty 

spotted pig.' 
As thou art, etc. 

10 Then at him this old lady she did go, 

And he clove her from the top of hen head to 

her toe. 
As he was, etc. 

11 In Bromsgrove churchyard this old lady lies, 
And the face of the boar's head there is drawn 

ty, 

That was killed by, etc. 



214 



18. SIR LIONEL 



E 



a. Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry 
of England, edited by Robert Bell, p. 250. b. Mr Eobert 
White's papers. 

1 THERE was an old man and sons he had three ; 

Wind well, Lion, good hunter 
A friar he being one of the three, 
With pleasure he ranged the north country. 

For he was a jovial hunter 

2 As he went to the woods some pastime to see, 
He spied a fair lady under a tree, 



Sighing and moaning mournfully. 
He was, etc. 

3 ' What are you doing, my fair lady ? ' 

1 1 'm frightened the wild boar he will kill me ; 
He has worried my lord and wounded thirty.' 
As thou art, etc. 

4 Then the friar he put his horn to his mouth, 
And he blew a blast, east, west, north and 

south, 

And the wild boar from his den he came forth. 
Unto the, etc. 



Allies, Antiquities of Worcestershire, p. 120. 

1 SIB RACKABELLO had three sons, 

Wind well your, horn, brave hunter 



Sir Ryalash was one of these. 
And he was a jovial hunter 



A. 3 1 . MS. And as the. 
6 2 . MS. had bee. 

II 1 . MS. I wilt. 

12 1 . MS. miste. 

16 2 . MS. awaw. 

17 1 . MS. vnbethought . . . while. 

19. Between 19 and 20 half a page of the 

MS. is wanting. 
20 1 . a[fter] : MS. blotted. 
36 1 . MS. bidds eue. 
39. Half a page of the MS. is wanting. 

B. The stanzas are doubled in Christie, to suit the 
air. 

C. a. 3 1 , 4 2 , 7 2 . D. 2 1 , 3 2 , 6. John Cole, who had 

heard an old man sing the ballad fifty years 
before (Allies, p. 115), could recollect only so 
much : 

'Oh! lady, Oh! lady, what bringst thou 

here ? ' 

Wind went his horn, as a hunter 
' Thee blow another blast, and he '11 soon 

come to thee.' 
As thou art a jovial hunter 

He whetted his tusks as he came along, 
Wind went his horn, as a hunter 



a 5, 6 stand thus in Allies : 

v Then he blowd a blast full north, east, 

west and south, 
For he was, etc. 
And the wild boar heard him full into his 

den, 
As he was, etc. 

VI Then he made the best of his speed unto 

him. 

{Two lines wrongly supplied from another 
source.) 
To Sir Ryalas, etc. 

5 has been completed from the corresponding 
stanza in D, and the two verses of 6, sep 
arated above, are put together. 
b. I 1 . Old Sir Robert. I 2 , was Sir Ryalas. 
2 2 . Till in a tree-top. 
3 1 . dost thee. 3 2 . The wild boar 's killed my 

lord and has thirty men gored. 
Burden*. And thou beest. 
4 1 . for to see. 

5 1 . As in Allies (see above), except full in 

his den. 

5 2 . then heard him full in his den. 



19. KING ORFEO 



215 



D. 



6 1 . As in Allies (see above), but 6 2 supplied 

by Sell. 
7 2 . Thrashed down the trees as he ramped 

him along. 

8 1 . 'Oh, what dost thee want of me, wild 
boar.' 

Burden?, the jovial. 
9 1 . summer. 9 2 . have got him. 
10 2 . cut the boar's head off quite. 
II 2 . Oh, my pretty spotted pig thou hast slew. 

Burden*, for thou beest. 
12 1 . I demand them of thee. 
13 1 . dost ask. 
14 1 . long locks. 14 2 . to tear him through. 

Burden*. Though he was. 
into twain, 
the knight he doth lie. 16 2 . And the 

wild boar's head is pictured thereby. 
5, 6. In Allies thus : 



15 2 
16 1 



V The wild boar hearing it into his den, 

Well wind, etc. 
He whetted his tusks, for to make them 

strong, 
And he cut down the oak and the ash as he 

came along. 
For to meet with, etc. 

Stanza 5 has been completed from stanza vi 
of Allies' other ballad, and 6 duly sepa 
rated from the first line of 5. 



8 2 , 9. In Allies' copy thus : 

vn Oh ! then he cut his head clean off ! 

Well wind, etc. 
Then there came an old lady running out 

of the wood 
Saying, ' You have killed my pretty, my 

pretty spotted pig.' 
As thou art, etc. 

What stanza 8 should be is easily seen from 

CIO. 
C 16, D 11. As imperfectly remembered by 

Allies (p. 114) : 

In Bromsgrove church his corpse doth lie, 
Why winded his horn the hunter ? 

Because there was a wild boar nigh, 
And as he was a jovial hunter. 

B. b. " Fragment 'found on the fly-leaf of an old 

book." Mr H. White's papers. 
I 2 , one of these three. I 8 , wide countrie. 

Burden 2 . He was. 
2 1 . was in woods. 2 8 . With a bloody river 

running near she. 
3 1 . He said, ' Fair lady what are you doing 

there ? ' 3 8 . killed my lord. 
4. wanting. 



19 
KING ORFEO 

The Leisure Hour, February 14, 1880, No 1468 : Folk-Lore from Unst, Shetland, by Mrs Saxby, p. 109. 



MR EDMONDSTON, from whose memory this 
ballad was derived, notes that though stanzas 
are probably lost after the first which would 
give some account of the king in the east 
wooing the lady in the west, no such verses 
were sung to him. He had forgotten some 
stanzas after the fourth, of which the sub 
stance was that the lady was carried off by 



fairies ; that the king went in quest of her, and 
one day saw a company passing along a hill 
side, among whom he recognized his lost wife. 
The troop went to what seemed a great " ha- 
house," or castle, on the hillside. Stanzas after 
the eighth were also forgotten, the purport 
being that a messenger from behind the grey 
stane appeared and invited the king in. 



216 



19. KING ORFEO 



We have here in traditional song the story 
of the justly admired mediaeval romance of 
Orpheus, in which fairy-land supplants Tar 
tarus, faithful love is rewarded, and Eury- 
dice (Heurodis, Erodys, Eroudys) is retrieved. 
This tale has come down to us in three ver 
sions : A, in the Auchinleck MS., dating from 
the beginning of the fourteenth century, Ad 
vocates Library, Edinburgh, printed in Laing's 
Select Remains of the Ancient Popular Poe 
try of Scotland, ' Orfeo and Heurodis,' No 3 ; 
B, Ashmole MS., 61, Bodleian Library, of the 
first half of the fifteenth century, printed in 
Halliwell's Illustrations of Fairy Mythology, 
1 Kyng Orfew,' p. 37 ; C, Harleian MS., 3810, 
British Museum, printed by Ritson, Metrical 
Romancees, n, 248, ' Sir Orpheo.' At the end 
of the Auchinleck copy we are told that harp 
ers in Britain heard this marvel, and made a 
lay thereof, which they called, after the king, 
* Lay Orfeo.' The other two copies also, but 
in verses which are a repetition of the intro 
duction to ' Lay le Freine,' call this a Breton 
lay. 

The story is this (A). Orfeo was a king 
[and so good a harper never none was, B] . 
One day in May his queen went out to a 
garden with two maidens, and fell asleep un 
der an " ympe " tree. When she waked she 
shrieked, tore her clothes, and acted very 
wildly. Her maidens ran to the palace and 
called for help, for the queen would go mad. 
Knights and ladies went to the queen, took 
her away, and put her to bed ; but still the 
excitement continued. The king, in great 
affliction, besought her to tell him what was 
the matter, and what he could do. Alas ! she 
said, I have loved thee as my life, and thou 
me, but now we must part. As she slept 
knights had come to her and had bidden her 
come speak with they king. Upon her re 
fusal, the king himself came, with a company 
of knights and damsels, all on snow-white 
steeds, and made her ride on a palfrey by hrs 
side, and, after he had shown her his palace, 
brought her back and said : Look thou be 
under this ympe tree tomorrow, to go with us ; 
and if thou makest us any let, we will take 
thee by force, wherever thou be. The next 



day Orfeo took the queen to the tree under 
guard of a thousand knights, all resolved to 
die before they would give her up : but she was 
spirited away right from the midst of them, 
no one knew whither. 

The king all but died of grief, but it was 
no boot. He gave his kingdom in charge to 
his high steward, told his barons to choose a 
new king when they should learn that he was 
dead, put on a sclavin and nothing else, took 
his harp, and went barefoot out at the gate. 
Ten years he lived in the woods and on the 
heath ; his body wasted away, his beard grew 
to his girdle. His only solace was in his harp, 
and, when the weather was bright, he would 
play, and all the beasts and birds would flock 
to him. Often at hot noon-day he would see 
the king of fairy hunting with his rout, or 
an armed host would go by him with banners 
displayed, or knights and ladies would come 
dancing ; but whither they went he could not 
tell. One day he descried sixty ladies who 
were hawking. He went towards them and 
saw that one of them was Heurodis. He looked 
at her wistfully, and she at him ; neither spoke 
a word, but tears fell from her eyes, and the 
ladies hurried her away. He followed, and 
spared neither stub nor stem. They went in 
at a rock, and he after. They alighted at a 
superb castle; he knocked at the gate, told 
the porter he was a minstrel, and was let in. 
There he saw Heurodis, sleeping under an 
ympe tree. 

Orfeo went into the hall, and saw a king 
and queen, sitting in a tabernacle. He kneeled 
down before the king. What man art thou ? 
said the king. I never sent for thee, and ne\!r 
found I man so bold as to come here unbidden. 
Lord, quoth Orfeo, I am but a poor minstrel, 
and it is a way of ours to seek many a lord's 
house, though we be not welcome. Without 
more words he took his harp and began to 
play. All the palace came to listen, and lay 
down at his feet. The king sat still and was 
glad to hear, and, when the harping was done, 
said, Minstrel, ask of me whatever it be ; I will 
pay thee largely. " Sir," said Orfeo, " I be 
seech thee give me the lady that sleepeth un 
der the ympe tree." " Nay," quoth the king, 



19. KING ORFEO 



217 



" ye were a sorry couple ; for thou art lean and 
rough and black, and she is lovely and has no 
lack. A lothly thing were it to see her in thy 
company." " Gentle king," replied the harper, 
it were a fouler thing to hear a lie from thy 
mouth." u Take her, then, and be blithe of 
her," said the king. 

Orfeo now turned homewards, but first pre 
sented himself to the steward alone, and in 
beggar's clothes, as a harper from heathen 
dom, to see if he were a true man. The loyal 
steward was ready to welcome every good 
harper for love of his lord. King Orfeo made 
himself known ; the steward threw over the 
table, and fell down at his feet, and so did all 



the lords. They brought the queen to the 
town. Orfeo and Heurodis were crowned 
anew, and lived long afterward. 

The Scandinavian burden was, perhaps, no 
more intelligible to the singer than " Hey non 
nonny " is to us. The first line seems to be 
Unst for Danish 

Skoven arle grbn (Early green 's the wood). 

The sense of the other line is not so obvious. 
Professor Grundtvig has suggested to me, 

Hvor hjorten ban gar arlig (Where the hart goes 
yearly). 



The Leisure Hour, February 14, 1880, No 1468, p. 109. 
Obtained from the singing of Andrew Coutts, an old man in 
Unst, Shetland, by Mr Biot Edmondston. 

1 DEK lived a king inta da aste, 

Scowan iirla grttn 
Der lived a lady in da wast. 
Whar giorten han grim oarlac 

2 Dis king he has a huntin gaen, 
He 's left his Lady Isabel alane. 

3 ' Oh I wis ye 'd never gaen away, 
For at your hame is dol an wae. 

4 ' For da king o Ferrie we his daert, 
Has pierced your lady to da hert.' 

***** 

5 And aifter dem da king has gaen, 
But whan he cam it was a grey stane. 

6 Dan he took oot his pipes ta play, 
Bit sair his hert wi dol an wae. 

7 And first he played da notes o noy, 
An dan he played da notes o joy. 

8 An dan he played da god gabber reel, 
Dat meicht ha made a sick hert hale. 

28 



***** 
9 ' Noo come ye in inta wir ha, 
An come ye in among wis a'.' 

10 Now he 's gaen in inta der ha, 
An he 's gaen in among dem a'. 

11 Dan he took out his pipes to play, 
Bit sair his hert wi dol an wae. 

12 An first he played da notes o noy,. 
An dan he played da notes o joy. 

13 An dan he played da god gabber reel, 
Dat meicht ha made a sick hert hale. 

14 ' Noo tell to us what ye will hae : 
What sail we gie you for your play ? 

15 What I will hae I will you tell, 
An dat 's me Lady Isabel.' 

16 ' Yees tak your lady, an yees gaeng hame, 
An yees be king ower a' your ain.' 

17 He 's taen his lady, an he 's gaen hame, 
An noo he 's king ower a' his ain. 



218 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



20 



THE CRUEL MOTHER. 



A. Herd's MSS, i, 132, n, 191. Herd's Ancient and 
Modern Scottish Songs, 1776, n, 237. 

B. a. ' Fine Flowers in the Valley,' Johnson's Mu 
seum, p. 331. b. Scott's Minstrelsy, in, 259 (1803). 

C. ' The Cruel Mother,' MotherwelPs Minstrelsy, p. 
161. 

D. a. Kinloch MSS, v, 103. b. 'The Cruel Mother,' 
Kinloch, Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 46. 

E. The Cruel Mother.' a. Motherwell's MS., p. 390. 
b. Motherwell's Note-Book, p. 33. 

F. The Cruel Mother.' a. Buchan's MSS, n, 98. 
b. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, n, 222. 

G. Notes and Queries, 1st S., vin, 358. 



H. The Cruel Mother,' Motherwell's MS., p. 402. 

I. ' The Minister's Daughter of New York.' a. Bu 
chan's MSS, n, 111. b. Buchan's Ballads of the 
North of Scotland, n, 217. c. ' Hey wi the rose and 
the lindie O,' Christie, Traditional Ballad Airs, I, 
106. 

J. a. The Rose o Malindie O,' Harris MS., f. 10. b. 
Fragment communicated by Dr T. Davidson. 

K. Motherwell's MS., p. 186. 

L. ' Fine Flowers in the Valley,' Smith's Scottish Min 
strel, iv, 33. 

M. From Miss M. Reburn, as learned in County Meath, 
Ireland, one stanza. 



Two fragments of this ballad, A, B, were 
printed in the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century ; C-L were committed to writing after 
1800 ; and, of these, E, H, J, K are now printed 
for the first time. 

A-H differ only slightly, but several of these 
versions are very imperfect. A young woman, 
who passes for a leal maiden, gives birth to 
two babes [A, B, one, H, three], puts them 
to death with a penknife, B-F, and buries 
them, or, H, ties them hand and feet and 
buries them alive. She afterwards sees two 
pretty boys, and exclaims that if they were 
hers she would treat them most tenderly. 
They make answer that when they were hers 
they were very differently treated, rehearse 
what she had done, and inform or threaten 
her that hell shall be her portion, C, D, B, 
F, H. In I the children are buried alive, as 

* All the genuine ones. ' Lady Anne/ in Scott's Min 
strelsy, in, 259, 1803, is on the face of it a modern composi 
tion, with extensive variations, on the theme of the popular 



in H, in J a strangled, in J b and L killed 
with the penknife, but the story is the same 
down to the termination, where, instead of 
simple hell-fire, there are various seven-year 
penances, properly belonging to the ballad of 
' The Maid and the Palmer,' which follows this. 

All the English ballads are in two-line 
stanzas.* 

Until 1870 no corresponding ballad had 
been found in Denmark, though none was 
more likely to occur in Danish. That year 
Kristensen, in the course of his very remarka 
ble ballad-quest in Jutland, recovered two ver 
sions which approach surprisingly near to 
Scottish tradition, and especially to B : Jydske 
Folkeviser, I, 329, No 121 A, B, ' Barnemor- 
dersken.' Two other Danish versions have 
been obtained since then, but have not been 
published. A and B are much the same, and 

ballad. It is here given in an Appendix, with a companion 
piece from Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway 
Song. 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



219 



a close translation of A will not take much 
more space than would be required for a suffi 
cient abstract. 

Little Kirsten took with her the bower-women five, 
And with them she went to the wood helive. 

She spread her cloak down on the earth, 
And on it to two little twins gave birth. 

She laid them under a turf so green, 
Nor suffered for them a sorrow unseen. 

She laid them under so broad a stone, 

Suffered sorrow nor harm for what she had done. 

Eight years it was, and the children twain 
Would fain go home to their mother again. 

They went and before Our Lord they stood : 
' Might we go home, to our mother, we would.' 

' Te may go to your mother, if ye will, 
But ye may not contrive any ill.' 

They knocked at the door, they made no din : 
* Rise up, our mother, and let us in.' 

By life and by death hath she cursed and sworn, 
That never a child in the world had she borne. 

' Stop, stop, dear mother, and swear not so fast, 
We shall recount to you what has passed. 

' You took with you the bower-women five, 
And with them went to the wood belive. 

' You spread your cloak down on the earth, 
And on it to two little twins gave birth. 

' You laid us under a turf so green, 
Nor suffered for us a sorrow unseen. 

' You laid us under so broad a stone, 

Suffered sorrow nor harm for what you had done.' 

' Nay my dear bairns, but stay with me ; 
And four barrels of gold shall be your fee.' 

' You may give us four, or five, if you choose, 
But not for all that, heaven will we lose. 



' You may give us eight, you may give us nine, 
But not for all these, heaven will we tine. 

' Our seat is made ready in heavenly light, 
But for you a seat in hell is dight.' 

A ballad is spread all over Germany which 
is probably a variation of ' The Cruel Mother,' 
though, the resemblance is rather in the gen 
eral character than in the details. A, * Hol- 
lisches Recht,' Wunderhorn, n, 202, ed. of 
1808, n, 205, ed. 1857. Mittler, No 489, p. 
383, seems to be this regulated and filled out. 
B, Erlach, ' Die Rabenmutter,' iv, 148 ; re 
peated, with the addition of one stanza, by 
Zuccalmaglio, p. 203, No 97. C, Die Kinds- 
mb'rderinn,' Meinert, p. 164, from the Kuh- 
landchen ; turned into current German, Erk's 
Liederhort, p. 144, No 41 C . D, Simrock, p. 
87, No 37% from the Aargau. E, ' Das falsche 
Mutterherz,' Erk u. Irmer, Heft 5, No 7, and 
* Die Kindesmorderin,' Erk's Liederhort, p. 
140, No 41, Brandenburg. P, Liederhort, p. 
142, No 41% Silesia. G, Liederhort, p. 143, 
41 b , from the Rhein, very near to B. H, Hoff 
mann u. Richter, No 31, p. 54, and I, No 32, 
p. 57, Silesia. J, Ditfurtb, Frankische V. 1., 
n, 12, No 13. K, Die Rabenmutter,' Peter, 
Volksthumliches aus Osterreichisch-Schlesien, 
I, 210, No 21. L, Der Teufel u. die Miil- 
lerstochter,' Prohle, Weltliche u. geistliche V. 
1., p. 15, No 9, Hanoverian Harz. Repeti 
tions and compounded copies are not noticed. 

The story is nearly this in all. A herds 
man, passing through a wood, hears the cry 
of a child, but cannot make out whence the 
sound comes. The child announces that it is 
hidden in a hollow tree, and asks to be taken 
to the house where its mother is to be married 
that day. There arrived, the child proclaims 
before all the company that the bride is its 
mother. The bride, or some one of the party, 
calls attention to the fact that she is still wear 
ing her maiden-wreath. Nevertheless, says 
the child, she has had three children : one she 
drowned, one she buried in a dung-heap [the 
sand], and one she hid in a hollow tree. The 
bride wishes that the devil may come for her 



220 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



if this is true, and, upon the word, Satan ap 
pears and takes her off ; in B, G, J, with words 
like these : 

1 Komm her, komm her, meine schonste Braut, 
Dein Sessel ist dir in der Holle gebaut.' J 9. 

A Wendish version, ' Der Hollentanz,' in 
Haupt and Schmaler, I, 290, No 292, differs 
from the German ballads only in this, that the 



bride has already borne nine children, and is 
going with the tenth. 

A combination of B, C, D, F is translated 
by Grundtvig, Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, 
No 43, p. 279, and I, from the eighth stanza 
on, p. 282. C is translated by Wolff, Halle 
der Volker, I, 11, and Hauschatz, p. 223 ; Al- 
lingham's version (nearly B a) by Knortz, L. 
u. R. Alt-Englands, p. 178, No 48. 



Herd's MSS,'i, 132, u, 191 : Ancient and Modem Scot 
tish Songs, 1776, n, 237. 



1 AND there she 's leand her back to a thorn, 

Oh and alelladay, oh and alelladay 
And there she has her baby born. 

Ten thousand times good night and be wi 
thee 



2 She has houked a grave ayont the sun, 
And there she has buried the sweet babe in. 

3 And she 's-gane back to her father's ha, 
She 's counted the leelest maid o them a'. 

***** 

4 ' look not sae sweet, my bonie babe, 
Gin ye smyle sae, ye '11 smyle me dead.' 



B 



a. Johnson's Museum, p. 331. b. Scott's Minstrelsy, 
1803, in, 259, preface. 

1 SHE sat down below a thorn, 

Fine flowers in the valley 
And there she has her sweet babe born. 
And the green leaves they grow rarely 

2 ' Smile na sae sweet, my bonie babe, 

And ye smile sae sweet, ye '11 smile me dead.' 

3 She 's taen out her little pen-knife, 
And twinnd the sweet babe o its life. 



4 She 's howket a grave by the light o the 

moon, 
And there she 's buried her sweet babe in. 

5 As she was going to the church, 
She saw a sweet babe in the porch. 

6 ' O sweet babe, and thou were mine, 
I wad cleed thee in the silk so fine.' 

7 ' mother dear, when I was thine, 
You did na prove to me sae kind.' 



O 

Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 161. 

1 SHE leaned her back unto a thorn, 
Three, three, and three by three 
And there she has her two babes born. 
Three, three, and thirty-three 



2 She took frae 'bout her ribbon-belt, 

And there she bound them hand and foot. 

3 She has taen out her wee pen-knife, 
And there she ended baith their life. 

4 She has howked a hole baith deep and wide, 
She has put them in baith side by side. 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



221 



5 She has covered them oer wi a marble stane, 
Thinking she would gang maiden hame. 

6 As she was walking by her father's castle wa, 
She saw twa pretty babes playing at the ba. 

,7 'O bonnie babes, gin ye were mine, 
I would dress you up in satin fine. 

8 ' I would dress you in the silk, 
And wash you ay in morning milk.' 



9 ' O cruel mother, we were thine, 
And thou made us to wear the twine. 

10 ' O cursed mother, heaven 's high, 

And that 's where thou will neer win nigh. 

11 ' O cursed mother, hell is deep, 

And there thou '11 enter step by step.' 



D 



a. Kinloch's MSS, v, 103, in the handwriting of James 
Beattie. b. Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 46 : from 
the recitation of Miss C. Beattie. 

1 THERE lives a lady in London, 

All alone and alone ee 
She 's gane wi bairn to the. clerk's son. 
Down by the green wood sae bonnie 

2 She 's taen her mantle her about, 

She 's gane aff to the gude green wood. 

3 She 's set her back untill an oak, 
First it bowed and then it broke. 

4 She 's set her back untill a tree, 
Bonny were the twa boys she did bear. 

5 But she took out a little pen-knife, 

And she parted them and their sweet life. 



6 She 's aff untill her father's ha ; 

She was the lealest maiden that was amang 
them a'. 

7 As she lookit oure the castle wa, 

She spied twa bonnie boys playing at the ba. 

8 ' O if these two babes were mine, 

They should wear the silk and the sabel- 
line!' 

9 ' O mother dear, when we were thine, 

We neither wore the silks nor the sabel- 
line. 

10 ' But out ye took a little pen-knife, 
And ye parted us and our sweet life. 

11 ' But now we 're in the heavens hie, 
And ye 've the pains o hell to drie.' 



E 



a. Motherwell's MS., p. 390. b. MotherwelPs Note- 
Book, p. 33. From the recitation of Agnes Lyle, Kilbar- 
chan, August 24, 1825. 

1 THERE was a lady, she lived in Lurk, 

Sing hey alone and alonie O 
She fell in love with her father's clerk. 
Down by yon greenwood sidie O 

2 She loved him seven years and a day, 
Till her big belly did her betray. 

3 She leaned her back unto a tree, 
And there began her sad misery. 



4 She set her foot unto a thorn, 

And there she got her two babes born. 

5 She took out her wee pen-knife, 

She twind them both of their sweet life. 

6 She took the sattins was on her head, 

She rolled them in both when they were 
dead. 

7 She howkit a grave forenent the sun, 
And there she buried her twa babes in. 

8 As she was walking thro her father's ha, 
She spied twa boys playing at the ba. 



222 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



9 ' pretty boys, if ye were mine, 

I would dress ye both in the silks so fine.' 

10 ' O mother dear, when we were thine, 
Thou neer dressed us in silks so fine. 

11 ' For thou was a lady, thou livd in Lurk, 
And thou fell in love with thy father's clerk. 

12 ' Thou loved him seven years and a day, 
Till thy big belly did thee betray. 

13 ' Thou leaned thy back unto a tree, 
And there began thy sad misery. 

14 ' Thou set thy foot unto a thorn, 

And these thou got thy two babes born. 



15 ' Thou took out thy wee pen-knife, 
And twind us both of our sweet life. 

16 ' Thou took the sattins was on thy head, 
Thou rolled us both in when we were dead. 

17 ( Thou howkit a grave forenent the sun, 
And there thou buried thy twa babes in. 

18 ' But now we 're both in [the] heavens hie, 
There is pardon for us, but none for thee.' 

19 ' My pretty boys, beg pardon for me ! ' 

' There is pardon for us, but none for thee.' 



a. Buchan's MSS, u, 98. b. Buchan's Ballads of the 
North of Scotland, n, 222. 

1 IT fell ance upon a day, 

Edinburgh, Edinburgh 
It fell ance upon a day, 

Stirling for aye 
It fell ance upon a day 
The clerk and lady went to play. 

So proper Saint Johnston stands fair upon 
Tay 

2 ' If my baby be a son, 

I '11 make him a lord of high renown.' 

3 She 's leand her back to the wa, 
Prayd that her pains might fa. 

4 She 's leand her back to the thorn, 
There was her baby born. 

5 ' O bonny baby, if ye suck sair, 
You '11 never suck by my side mair.' 



6 She 's riven the muslin frae her head, 
Tied the baby hand and feet. 

7 Out she took her little pen-knife, 
Twind the young thing o its sweet life. 

8 She 's howked a hole anent the meen, 
There laid her sweet baby in. 

9 She had her to her father's ha, 

She was the meekest maid amang them a'. 

10 It fell ance upon a day, 

She saw twa babies at their play. 

11 ' bonny babies, gin ye were mine, 
I 'd cleathe you in the silks sae fine.' 

12 1 wild mother, when we were thine, 
You cleathd us not in silks so fine. 

13 ' But now we 're in the heavens high, 
And you 've the pains o hell to try.' 

14 She threw hersell oer the castle-wa, 
There I wat she got a fa. 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



223 



Notes and Queries, 1st S., vni, 358. From Warwick 
shire, communicated by C. Clifton Barry. 

1 THERE was a lady lived on [a] lea, 

All alone, alone O 

Down by the greenwood side went she. 
Down the greenwood side O 



2 She set her foot all on a thorn, 
There she had two babies born. 

3 O she had nothing to lap them in, 
But a white appurn, and that was thin. 



Motherwell's MS., p. 402. From Agnes Laird, Kilbar- 
chan, August 24, 1825. 

1 THERE was a lady brisk and smart, 

All in a lone and a lonie O 
And she goes with child to her father's clark. 
Down by the greenwood sidie O 

2 Big, big oh she went away, 

And then she set her foot to a tree. 

3 Big she set her foot to a stone, 

Till her three bonnie babes were borne. 

4 She took the ribbons off her head, 
She tied the little babes hand and feet. 

5 She howkit a hole before the sun, 

She 's laid these three bonnie babes in. 

6 She covered them over with marble stone, 
For dukes and lords to walk upon. 

7 She lookit over her father's castle wa, 

She saw three bonnie boys playing at the ba. 

8 The first o them was clad in red, 

To shew the innocence of their blood. 



9 The neist o them was clad in green, 
To shew that death they had been in. 

10 The next was naked to the skin, 

To shew they were murderd when they were 
born. 

11 ' O bonnie babes, an ye were mine, 

I wad dress you in the satins so fine.' 

12 ' O mother dear, when we were thine, 
Thou did not use us half so kind.' 

13 ' bonnie babes, an ye be mine, 
Whare hae ye been a' this time ? ' 

14 ' We were at our father's house, 
Preparing a place for thee and us.' 

15 ' Whaten a place hae ye prepar'd for me ? ' 
' Heaven 's for us, but hell 's for thee. 

16 ' O mother dear, but heaven 's high ; 
That is the place thou '11 ne'er come nigh. 

17 ' O mother dear, but hell is deep ; 
'T will cause thee bitterlie to weep.' 



a. Buchan's MS., n, 111. b. Buchan's Ballads of the 
North of Scotland, n, 217. c. Christie, Traditional Ballad 
Airs, i, 106. 

1 THE minister's daughter of New York, 

Hey wi the rose and the lindie, O 

Has faen in love wi her father's clerk. 

Alone by the green burn sidie, O 



2 She courted him six years and a day, 
At length her belly did her betray. 

3 She did her down to the greenwood gang, 
To spend awa a while o her time. 

4 She lent her back unto a thorn, 

And she 's got her twa bonny boys born. 



224 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



5 She 's taen the ribbons frae her hair, 
Bound their bodyes fast and sair. 

6 She 's put them aneath a marble stane, 
Thinking a maiden to gae hame. 

7 Looking oer her castle wa, 

She spied her bonny boys at the ba. 

8 ' bonny babies, if ye were mine, 

I woud feed you with the white bread and 
wine. 

9 ' I woud feed you wi the ferra cow's milk, 
And dress you in the finest silk.' 

10 ' cruel mother, when we were thine, 
We saw none of your bread and wine. 

11 ' We saw none of your ferra cow's milk, 
Nor wore we of your finest silk.' 



12 ' O bonny babies, can ye tell me, 
What sort of death for you I must die ? ' 

13 ' Yes, cruel mother, we '11 tell to thee, 
What sort of death for us you must die. 

14 ( Seven years a fowl in the woods, 
Seven years a fish in the floods. 

15 ' Seven years to be a church bell, 
Seven years a porter in hell.' 

16 ' Welcome, welcome, fowl in the wood[s], 
Welcome, welcome, fish in the flood[s]. 

17 ' Welcome, welcome, to be a church bell, 
But heavens keep me out of hell.' 



a. Harris MS., fol. 10, "Mrs Harris and others." b. Frag 
ment communicated by Dr T. Davidson. 

1 SHE leant her back against a thorn, 

Hey for the Rose o' Malindie 
And there she has twa bonnie babes born. 
Adoon by the green wood sidie O 

2 She 's taen the ribbon frae her head, 

An hankit their necks till they waur dead. 

3 She luikit outowre her castle wa, 

An saw twa nakit boys, playin at the ba. 

4 ' bonnie boys, waur ye but mine, 

I wald feed ye wi flour-bread an wine.' 

5 ' O f ause mother, whan we waur thine, 
Ye didna feed us wi flour-bread an wine.' 



6 ' bonnie boys, gif ye waur mine, 
I wald 'clied ye wi silk sae fine.' 

7 ' O fause mother, whan we waur thine, 
You didna clied us in silk sae fine. 

8 ' Ye tuik the ribbon aff your head, 

An' hankit our necks till we waur dead. \ 
# # * * *-' 

9 ' Ye sail be seven years bird on the tree, 
Ye sail be seven years fish i the sea. 

10 * Ye sail be seven years eel i the pule, 
An ye sail be seven years doon into hell.' 

11 ' Welcome, welcome, bird on the tree, 
Welcome, welcome, fish i the sea. 

12 ' Welcome, welcome, eel i the pule, 

But ph for gudesake, keep me frae hell ! ' 



Motherwell's MS., p. 186. 

1 LADY MARGARET looked oer the castle wa, 
Hey and a lo and a lilly O 



And she saw twa bonnie babes playing at the 

ba. 
Down by the green wood sidy O 

2 ' O pretty babes, an ye were mine, 
I would dress you in the silks so fine.' 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



225 



3 ' O false mother, when we were thine, 
Ye did not dress us in silks so fine.' 

4 ' O bonnie babes, an ye were mine, 

I would feed you on the bread and wine.' 

5 ' O false mother, when we were thine, 

Ye did not feed us on the bread and the wine.' 



* * * * 

6 ' Seven years a fish in the sea, 
And seven years a bird in the tree. 

7 ' Seven years to ring a bell, 
And seven years porter in hell.' 



Smith's Scottish Minstrel, iv, 33, 2d ed. 

1 A LADY lookd out at a castle wa, 

Fine flowers in the valley 
She saw twa bonnie babes playing at the ba. 
And the green leaves they grow rarely 

2 ' O my bonnie babes, an ye were mine, 
I would cleed ye i the scarlet sae fine. 

3 ' I 'd lay ye saft in beds o down, 

And watch ye morning, night and noon.' 

4 ' O mither dear, when we were thine, 
Ye didna cleed us i the scarlet sae fine. 



5 ' But ye took out yere little pen-knife, 
And parted us frae our sweet life. 

6 ' Ye howkit a hole aneath the moon, 
And there ye laid our bodies down. 

7 ' Ye happit the hole wi mossy stanes, 
And there ye left our wee bit banes. 

8 ' But ye ken weel, O mither dear, 
Ye never cam that gate for fear.' 

* * * * 

9 ' Seven lang years ye '11 ring the bell, 
And see sic sights as ye darna tell.' 



M 

Communicated by Miss Margaret Reburn, as learned in 
County Meath, Ireland, about 1860. 

' O mother dear, when we were thine, 
All a lee and aloney O 



You neither dressed us in coarse or fine.' 
Down by the greenwood sidy 



B. 



Superscribed, " Fragment to its own tune. 

Melancholy." Against the first line of the 

burden is written in the margin, " perhaps 

alas-a-day," and this change is adopted in 

Herd's printed copy. Scott suggested well-a- 

day. 

4 2 . MSS and ed. 1776 have ze . . . ze '11. 

b. " A fragment [of 5 stanzas] containing the 
following verses, which I have often heard 
sung in my childhood." Scott, in. 259. No 
burden is given. 
I 1 . She set her back against, i 2 . young son 

born. 
2 1 . O smile nae sae. 



3, 4, wanting. 

5 1 . An when that lady went. 5 2 . She spied a 
naked boy. 

6 1 . O bonnie boy, an ye. 6 2 . I 'd cleed ye in 
the silks. 

7 2 . To me ye were na half. 

Cunningham, Songs of Scotland, I, 340, says : 
" I remember a verse, and but a verse, of an 
old ballad which records a horrible instance 
of barbarity," and quotes the first two stanzas 
of Scott's fragment literally ; from which we 
may infer that it was Scott's fragment that 
he partly remembered. But he goes on : 
" At this moment a hunter came one whose 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



suit the lady had long rejected with scorn 
the brother of her lover : 

He took the babe on his spear point, 

And threw it upon a thorn : 
' Let the wind blow east, the wind blow west, 

The cradle will rock alone.' I. 

Cunningham's recollection was evidently much 
confused. This last stanza, which is not in 
the metre of the others, is perhaps from some 
copy of ' Edom o Gordon.' 

D. a. 6 2 . I was. 

b. Kinloch makes slight changes in his printed 

copy, as usual. 
4 1 . until a brier. 
5 1 . out she 's tane. 

6 2 . She seemd the lealest maiden amang. 
8 1 . an thae. 

E. I 1 , II 1 . Lurk may be a corruption of York, 

which is written in pencil (by way of sug ges- 
tion?) in the MSS. 

a. 16 1 . on your. 

b. 4 1 , 14 l . upon a thorn. 

5 2 . twind wanting. 6 1 . sattins wanting. 

13, 14, 15, 16, 17 are not written out in the 

note-book. 

18 1 . the heavens. J* 

19 2 . but there is none. 
P. a. 9 stands last but one in the MS. 
14 2 . Here, 
b. 4 2 . has her. 
7 2 . sweet is omitted. 
Printed as from the MS. in Dixon's Scottish 

Traditional Versions, etc., p. 46. Diocon 

has changed baby to babies in 4, 5, 6, 8, 

and indulges in other variations. 
H. The ballad had been heard with two differ 
ent burdens ; besides the one given in the text, 
this: 

Three and three, and three by three L. 

Ah me, some forty three 



7 ' Lady Mary Ann,' Johnson's Museum, No 
377, begins : 

O Lady Mary Ann looks oer the castle wa, 
She saw three bonie boys playing at the ba. 

a, b. 14 1 , 16 1 . fool, i. e. fowl spelt phonetically. 

a. 3 1 . greenwoods 

b. 2 2 . it did. 

8 2 . with white. 
II 2 . wear'd. 
13 2 . maun die. 

c. " Epitomized " from Buchan, n, 217, " and 
somewhat changed for this work, some of the 
changes being made according to the way the 
Editor has heard it sung." Note by Chris 
tie, p. 106. 

Burden, It 's hey with the rose, etc. 
7 1 . As a lady was looking. 7 2 . She spied twa. 
II 2 . Nor wore we a. 

12 2 . What sort of pain for you I must drie. 
13 2 . What sort of pain for us you must drie. 
14 2 . And seven. 

Printed as from the MS. in Dixon's Scottish 
Traditional Versions of Ancient Ballads, 
p. 50, ' The Minister's Dochter o Newarke,' 
with a few arbitrary changes. 
a. 9 1 . You. 

b has stanzas corresponding to a 1, 3, 4, 6, 
and, in place of 2, 

She 's taen oot a little pen-knife, 

And she 's robbit them o their sweet life. 

Burden 1 . Hey i the rose o Mylindsay O. 

I 1 , until a thorn. I 2 . An syne her twa bon- 

nie boys was born. 
3 1 . As she leukit oer her father's. 3 2 . bonnie 

boys. 

4 1 . an ye were mine. 4 2 . bread. 
6 2 . claithe ye in. 

8 looks like an interpolation, and very probably 
the ballad was docked at the beginning in or 
der to suit the parlor better. 



20. THE CRUEL MOTHER 



227 



APPENDIX 



LADY ANNE 

" This ballad was communicated to me by Mr 
Kirkpatrick Sharpe of Hoddom, who mentions hav 
ing copied it from an old magazine. Although it 
has probably received some modern corrections, the 
general turn seems to be ancient, and corresponds 
with that of a fragment [B b], which I have often 
heard sung in my childhood." Minstrelsy of the 
Scottish Border, m, 259, ed. 1803. 

Buchan, Gleanings, p. 90, has an additional stanza 
between 8 and 9 of Scott's, whether from the old 
magazine or not, it would not be worth the while to 
ascertain. 

Cunningham, Songs of Scotland, I, 339, has re 
written even ' Lady Anne.' 

Translated by Schubart, p. 170, and by Gerhard, 
p. 92. 



1 FAIR Lady Anne sate in her bower, 

Down by the greenwood side, 
And the flowers did spring, and the birds 

sing, 
'T was the pleasant May-day tide. 



did 



2 But fair Lady Anne on Sir William calld, 

With the tear grit in her ee, 

' O though thou be fause, may Heaven thee guard, 
In the wars ayont the sea ! ' 

3 Out of the wood came three bonnie boys, 

Upon the simmer's morn, 
And they did sing and play at the ba', 
As naked as they were born. 

4 ' O seven lang years wad I sit here, 

Amang the frost and snaw, 
A' to hae but ane o these bonnie boys, 
A playing at the ba.' 

5 Then up and spake the eldest boy, 

' Now listen, thou fair ladie, 
And ponder well the rede that I tell, 
Then make ye a choice of the three. 

6 "T is I am Peter, and this is Paul, 

And that ane, sae fair to see, 



But a twelve-month sinsyne to paradise came, 
To join with our companie.' 

7 ' O I will hae the snaw-white boy, 

The bonniest of the three : ' 
' And if I were thine, and in thy propine, 
O what wad ye do to me ? ' 

8 ' 'T is I wad dead thee in silk and gowd, 

And nourice thee on my knee: ' 
' O mither, mither, when I was thine, 
Sic kindness I couldna see. 

9 ' Beneath the turf, where now I stand, 

The fause nurse buried me; 
The cruel pen-knife sticks still in my heart, 
And I come not back to thee.' 



" There are many variations of this affecting 
tale. One of them appears in the Musical Museum, 
and is there called ' Fine Flowers of the Valley,' of 
which the present is either the original or a parallel 
song. I am inclined to think it is the original." 
Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and Galloway Song, 
p. 267. 

This is translated by Talvj, Versuch, p. 571. 

1 THERE sat 'mang the flowers a fair ladie, 

Sing ohon, ohon, and ohon O 
And there she has born a sweet babie. 
Adown by the greenwode side O 

2 An strait she rowed its swaddling band, 
An O ! nae mother grips took her hand. 

3 O twice it lifted its bonnie wee ee: 

* Thae looks gae through the saul o me 1 ' 

4 She buried the bonnie babe neath the brier, 
And washed her hands wi mony a tear. 

5 And as she kneelt to her God in prayer, 
The sweet wee babe was smiling there. 

6 ' O ay, my God, as I look to thee, 
My babe 's at ween my God and me. 

7 ' Ay, ay, it lifts its bonnie wee ee : 

' " Sic kindness get as ye shawed me." : 

8 ' An O its smiles wad win me in, 
But I 'm borne down by deadly sin. 



228 



21. THE MAID AND THE PALMER 



21 



.. Percy MS., p. 461. ' Lillumwham,' Hales and Fur- B. Sharpe's Ballad Book, ed. Laing, p. 157. 
nivall, IV, 96. 



THE only English copy of this ballad that 
approaches completeness is furnished by the 
Percy manuscript, A. Sir Walter Scott re 
membered, and communicated to Kirkpatrick 
Sharpe, three stanzas, and half of the burden, 
of another version, B. 

There are three versions in Danish, no one 
of them very well preserved. A, ' Maria Mag- 
dalena,' is a broadside of about 1700, existing 
in two identical editions : Grundtvig, No 98, 
II, 530 ; B, ib., was written down in the Faroe 
isles in 1848, by Hammershaimb ; C was ob 
tained from recitation by Kristensen in Jut 
land in 1869, Jydske Folkeviser, I, 197, No 
72, ' Synderinden.' 

A Faroe version, from the end of the last 
century or the beginning of this, is given in 
Grundtvig's notes, p. 533 ff. 

Versions recently obtained from recitation 
in Norway are : ' Maria,' Bugge's Gamle 
Norske Folkeviser, No 18; A, p. 88; B, p. 
90, a fragment, which has since been com 
pleted, but only two more stanzas printed, 
Grundtvig, in, 889 ; C, Bugge, p. 91. D, B 
are reported, but only a stanza or two printed, 
Grundtvig, m, 889 f ; F, printed 890 f , and 
G, as obtained by Lindeman, 891 : all these, 
D-Q, communicated by Bugge. C, and one 
or two others, are rather Danish than Nor 
wegian. 

This is, according to Afzelius, one of the 
commonest of Swedish ballads. These ver 
sions are known : A, " a broadside of 1798 
and 1802," Grundtvig, n, 531, Bergstrom's 
Afzelius, I, 335 ; B, ' Magdalena,' Atterbom's 
Poetisk Kalender for 1816, p. 20 ; C, Afze 
lius, u, 229 ; D, Arwidsson, I, 377, No 60 ; B, 
Dybeck's Svenska Visor, Hafte 2, No 6, only 
two stanzas; F, G, "in Wiede's collection, in 



the Swedish Historical and Antiquarian Acad 
emy ; " H, " in Cavallius and Stephens' col 
lection, where also A, F, G are found ; " I, 
Maximilian Axelson's Vesterdalarne, p. 171 ; 
J, ' Jungfru Adelin,' E. Wigstrom's Folkdikt- 
ning, No 38, p. 76 ; K, * Jungfru Maja,' Al 
bum utgifvet af Nylandingar, VI, 227. A-F 
are printed in Grundtvig's notes, II, 533 ff, 
and also some verses of G, H. 

The ballad is known to have existed in 
Icelandic from a minute of Arne Magnusson, 
who cites the line, " Swear not, swear not, 
wretched woman," but it ,has not been recov 
ered (Grundtvig, in, 891, note d). 

Finnish, ' Mataleenan vesimatka,' Kantele- 
tar, ed. 1864, p. 240. 

The story of the woman of Samaria, John, 
iv, is in all these blended with mediaeval tradi 
tions concerning Mary Magdalen, who is as 
sumed to be the same with the woman " which 
was a sinner," in Luke, vii, 37, and also with 
Mary, sister of Lazarus. This is the view of 
the larger part of the Latin ecclesiastical writ 
ers, while most of the Greeks distinguish the 
three (Butler, ' Lives of the Saints,' vn, 290, 
note). It was reserved for ballads, as Grundt 
vig remarks, to confound the Magdalen with 
the Samaritan woman. 

The traditional Mary Magdalen was a beau 
tiful woman of royal descent, who derived her 
surname from Magdalum, her portion of the 
great family estate. For some of her earlier 
years entirely given over to carnal delights, 
" unde jam, proprio nomine perdito, peccatrix 
consueverat appellari," she was, by the preach 
ing of Jesus, converted to a passionate re 
pentance and devotedness. In the course of 
the persecution of the church at Jerusalem, 
when Stephen was slain and the Christians 



21. THE MATD AND THE PALMER 



229 



widely dispersed, Mary, with Lazarus, her 
brother, Martha, and many more, were set 
afloat on the Mediterranean in a rudderless 
ship, with the expectation that they would 
find a watery grave. But the malice of the 
unbelieving was overruled, and the vessel 
came safe into port at Marseilles. Having 
labored some time for the christianizing of 
the people, and founded churches and bishop 
rics, Mary retired to a solitude where there 
was neither water, tree, nor plant, and passed 
the last thirty years of her life in heavenly 
contemplation. The cave in which she se 
cluded herself is still shown at La Sainte 
Baume. The absence of material comforts 
was, in her case, not so great a deprivation, 
since every day at the canonical hours she 
was carried by angels to the skies, and heard, 
with ears of the flesh, the performances of the 
heavenly choirs, whereby she was so thoroughly 
refected that when the angels restored her to 
her cave she was in need of no bodily aliment. 
(Golden Legend, Graesse, c. 96.) It is the 
practical Martha that performs real austeri 
ties, and those which are ascribed to her cor 
respond too closely with the penance in the 
Scandinavian ballads not to be the original of 
it: " Nam in primis septem annis, glandibus et 
radicibus herbisque crudis et pomis * silves- 
tribus corpusculum sustentans potius quam re- 
ficiens, victitavit .... Extensis solo ramis 
arboreis aut viteis, lapide pro cei'vicali capiti 
superposito subjecto, .... incumbebat." (Vin 
cent of Beauvais, Spec. Hist., ix, 100.) 

The best-preserved Scandinavian ballads 
concur nearly in this account. A woman at 
a well, or a stream, is approached by Jesus, 
who asks for drink. She says she has no ves- 

/ 

sel to serve him with. He replies that if she 
were pure, he would drink from her hands. 
She protests innocence with oaths, but is si- 

* The Magdalen's food is to be dry apple in Danish B 9. 
t Swedish F : 

14 ' And tell me how has it been with thy meat? ' 
' O I have eaten of almonds sweet.' 

15 ' And tell me how it has been with thy drink? ' 
' I have drunk both mead and wine, I think.' 

16 ' And tell me how was that bed of thine? ' 
' Oh I have rested on ermeline.' 



lenced by his telling her that she has had three 
children, one with her father, one with her 
brother, one with her parish priest: Danish 

A, B, C ; Faroe ; Swedish C, D, F, I, J, K ; 
Norwegian A, C, F, G. She falls at his feet, 
and begs him to shrive her. Jesus appoints 
her a seven years' penance in the wood. Her 
food shall be the buds or the leaves of the 
tree [grass, worts, berries, bark], her drink 
the dew [brook, juice of plants], her bed the 
hard ground [linden-roots, thorns and prickles, 
rocks, straw and sticks] ; all the while she 
shall be harassed by bears and lions [wolves], 
or snakes and drakes (this last in Swedish 

B, C, D, I, K, Norwegian A). The time ex 
pired, Jesus returns and asks how she has 
liked her penance. She answers, as if she had 
eaten daintily, drunk wine, slept on silk or 
swan's-down, and had angelic company [had 
been listening to music] .f Jesus then tells 
her that a place is ready for her in heaven. 

The penance lasts eight years in Swedish C, 
F, J, Norwegian A ; nine in the Faroe ballad ; 
fifteen in Danish B ; and six weeks in Danish 

C, It is to range the field in Danish A, Swed 
ish F ; to walk the snows barefoot in the Faroe 
ballad and Norwegian B ; in Norwegian D to 
stand nine years in a rough stream and eight 
years naked in the church-paths. 

The names Maria, or Magdalena, Jesus, or 
Christ, are found in most of the Scandinavian 
ballads. Swedish E has 'Lena (Lilla Lena) ; 
Swedish H He-lena ; J, Adelin ; K, Maja. 
Norwegian A gives no name to the woman, 
and Danish A a name only in the burden ; 
Norwegian B has, corruptly, Margjit. In Dan 
ish C, Norwegian B, G, Jesus is called an old 
man, correspondingly with the " old palmer " 
of English A, but the old man is afterwards 
called Jesus in Norwegian G (B is not printed 
in full), and in the burden of Danish C. The 

Norwegian G: 

13 ' I have fed as well on herbage wild 
As others have fed on roast and broiled. 

14 ' I have rested as well on the hard, hard stone 
As others have rested on beds of down. 

15 ' I have drunk as well from the rippling rill 
As others that drank both wine and ale.' 



230 



21. THE MAID AND THE PALMER 



Son is exchanged for the Father in Swed 
ish D. 

Stanzas 4, 5 of Swedish A, G, approach sin 
gularly near to English A 6, 7 : 

Swedish A : 

4 ' Would thy leman now but come, 

Thou wouldst give him to drink out of thy hand.' 

5 By all the worlds Magdalen swore, 
That leman she never had. 

Swedish G : 

4 ' Yes, hut if I thy leman were, 

I should get drink from thy snow-white hand.' 

5 Maria swore by the Holy Ghost, 
She neer had to do with any man. 

The woman is said to have taken the lives 
of her three children in Danish A, B, C, and 
of two in Swedish C, D, F, I, J, K (B also, 
where there are but two in all), a trait prob 
ably borrowed from ' The Cruel Mother.' 

The seven years' penance of the Scandina 
vian ballads is multiplied three times in Eng 
lish A, and four times in B and in those ver 
sions of ' The Cruel Mother ' which have been 
affected by the present ballad (2O, I, J, K ; 
L is defective). What is more important, the 
penance in the English ballads is completely 
different in kind, consisting not in exagger 
ated austerities, but partly, at least, in trans 
migration or metensomatosis : seven years to 
be a fish, 2O, I, J, K ; seven years a bird, 20, 
I, J, K ; seven years a stone, 21, A, B; seven 
years an eel, 20, J ; seven years a bell, or bell- 
clapper, 20, I, 21, A (to ring a bell, 20, K, 
L). Seven years in hell seems to have been 
part of the penance or penalty in every case : 
seven years a porter in hell, 21, B, 2O, I, K; 
seven years down in hell, 2O, J ; seven years 
to " ring the bell and see sic sights as ye darna 
tell, 2O, L ; " " other seven to lead an ape 
in hell," A, a burlesque variation of the por- 
tership. 

The Finnish Mataleena, going to the well 
for water, sees the reflection of her face, and 
bewails her lost charms. Jesus begs a drink : 
she says she has no can, no glass. He bids 



her confess. " Where are your three boys ? 
One you threw into the fire, one into the 
water, and one you buried in the wilderness." 
She fills a pail with her tears, washes his feet, 
and wipes them with her hair : then asks for 
penance. " Put me, Lord Jesus, where you 
will. Make me a ladder-bridge over the sea, a 
brand in the fire, a coal in the furnace." 

There are several Slavic ballads which blend 
the story of the Samaritan woman and that of 
* The Cruel Mother,' without admixture of the 
Magdalen. Wendish A, 'Aria' (M-aria ?), 
Haupt and Schmaler, I, 287, No 290, has a 
maid who goes for water on Sunday morning, 
and is joined by an old man who asks for a 
drink. She says the water is not clean ; it is 
dusty and covered with leaves. He says, The 
water is clean, but you are unclean. She de 
mands proof, and he bids her go to church in 
her maiden wreath. This she does. The grass 
withers before her, a track of blood follows 
her, and in the churchyard there come to her 
nine headless boys, who say, Nine sons hast 
thou killed, chopt off their heads, and mean 
est to do the same for a tenth. She entreats 
their forgiveness, enters the church, sprinkles 
herself with holy water, kneels at the altar 
and crosses herself, then suddenly sinks into 
the ground, so that nothing is to be seen but 
her yellow hair. B, * Die Kindesmorderin,' 
ib., n, 149, No 197, begins like A. As the 
maid proceeds to the church, nine graves open 
before her, and nine souls follow her into tke 
church. The oldest of her children springs 
upon her and breaks her neck, saying, " Mother, 
'here is thy reward. Nine of us didst thou 
kill." 

There are two Moravian ballads of the 
same tenor : A, Deutsches Museum, 1855, I, 
282, translated by M. Klapp : B, communi 
cated to the Zeitschrift des bohmischen Mu 
seums, 1842, p. 401, by A. W. Sembera, as 
sung by the " mahrisch sprechenden Slawen " 
in Prussian Silesia ; the first seven stanzas 
translated in Haupt u. Schmaler, n, 314, note 
to No 197. The Lord God goes out one Sun 
day morning, and meets a maid, whom he asks 
for water. She says the water is not clean. 
He replies that it is cleaner than she : for (A) 



21. THE MAID AND THE PALMER 



231 



she has seduced fifteen men and had children 
with all of them, has filled hell with the men 
and the sea with the children. He sends her 
to church ; but, as she enters the church-yard, 
the bells begin to ring (of themselves), and 
when she enters the church, all the images 
turn their backs. As she falls on her knees, 
she is changed into a pillar of salt. 

The popular ballads of some of the southern 
nations give us the legend of the Magdalen 
without mixture. 

French. A, Poesies populaires de la France, 
I (not paged), from Sermoyer, Ain, thirty 
lines, made stanzas by repetition. Mary goes 
from door to door seeking Jesus. He asks 
what she wants : she answers, To be shriven. 
Her sins have been such, she says, that the 
earth ought not to bear her up, the trees that 
see her can but tremble. For penance she is 
to stay seven years in the woods of Baume, 
eat the roots of the trees, drink the dew, and 
sleep under a juniper. Jesus comes to inquire 
about her when this space has expired. She 
says she is well, but her hands, once white as 
flower-de-luce, are now black as leather. For 
this Jesus requires her to stay seven years 
longer, and then, being thoroughly cured of 
her old vanities, she is told, 

' Marie Magdeleine, allez au paradis ; 

La porte en est ouverte depuis hier a midi.' 

B is nearly the same legend in Provencal : 
Damase Arbaud, I, 64. The penance is seven 
years in a cave, at the end of which Jesus 
passes, and asks Mary what she has had to 
eat and drink. " Wild roots, and not always 
them ; muddy water, and not always that." 
The conclusion is peculiar. Mary expresses 
a wish to wash her hands. Jesus pricks the 
rock, and water gushes out. She bewails the 
lost beauty of her hands, and is remanded to 
the cavern for another seven years. Upon her 
exclaiming at the hardship, Jesus tells her 
that Martha shall come to console her, the 
wood-dove fetch her food, the birds drink. 
But Mary is not reconciled : 

' Lord God, my good father, 
Make me not go back again ! 



With the tears from my eyes 
I will wash my hands clean. 

' With the tears from my eyes 

I will wash your feet, 
And then I will dry them 

With the hair of my head.' 

C, Poesies populaires de la Gascogne, Blade", 
1881, p. 339, ' La pauvre Madeleine,' seven 
teen stanzas of four short lines, resembles B 
till the close. When Jesus comes back after 
the second penance, and Mary says, as she 
had before, that she has lived like the beasts, 
only she has lacked water, Jesus again causes 
water to spring from the rock. But Mary 
says, I want no water. I should have to go 
back to the cave for another seven years. She 
is conducted straightway to paradise. 

D, Blade", as before, p. 183, ' Marie-Made 
leine,' six stanzas of five short lines. Mary is 
sent to the mountains for seven years' pen 
ance; at the end of that time washes her 
hands in a brook, and is guilty of admiring 
them ; is sent back to the mountains for seven 
years, and is then taken to heaven. 

A Catalan ballad combines the legend of 
the Magdalen's penance with that of her con 
version : Mila, Observaciones, p. 128, No 27, 
4 Santa Magdalena,' and Briz y Salt6, Can- 
sons de la Terra, n, 99. Martha, returning 
from church, asks Magdalen, who is combing 
her hair with a gold comb, if she has been at 
mass. Magdalen says no, nor had she thought 
of going. Martha advises her to go, for she 
certainly will fall in love with the preacher, a 
young man ; pity that he ever was a friar. 
Magdalen attires herself with the utmost 
splendor, and, to hear the sermon better, takes 
a place immediately under the pulpit. The 
first word of the sermon touched her ; at the 
middle she fainted. She stripped off all her 
ornaments, and laid them at the preacher's 
feet. At the door of the church she inquired 
of a penitent where Jesus was to be found. 
She sought him out at the house of Simon, 
washed his feet with her tears, and wiped 
them with her hair, picked up from the floor 
the bones which he had thrown away. Jesus 
at last noticed her, and asked what she wished. 



232 



21. THE MAID AND THE PALMER 



She wished to confess. He imposed the pen 
ance of seven years on a mountain, " eating 
herbs and fennels, eating bitter herbs." Mag 
dalen turned homewards after the seven years, 
and found on the way a spring, where she 
washed her hands, with a sigh over their dis 
figurement. She heard a voice that said, Mag 
dalen, thou hast sinned. She asked for new 
penance, and was sent back to the mountain 



for seven years more. At the end of this sec 
ond term she died, and was borne to the skies 
with every honor from the Virgin, saints, and 
angels. 

Danish A is translated by Prior, IT, 25, No 
44 : Swedish C by William and Mary Howitt, 
Literature and Romance of Northern Europe, 
I, 282. 



Percy MS., p. 461. Furnivall, IT, 96. 

1 THE maid shee went to the well to washe, 

Lillumwham, lillumwham ! 
The mayd shee went to the well to washe, 

Whatt then ? what then ? 
The maid shee went to the well to washe, 
Dew ffell of her lilly white fleshe. 

Grandam boy, grandam boy, heye ! 
Leg a derry, leg a merry, mett, mer, whoope, 
whir ! 

Driuance, larumben, grandam boy, heye ! 

2 While shee washte and while shee ronge, 
While shee hangd o the hazle wand. 

3 There came an old palmer by the way, 

Sais, ' God speed thee well, thou faire maid ! ' 

4 ' Hast either cupp or can, 

To giue an old palmer drinke therm ? ' 

5 Sayes, ' 1 have neither cupp nor cann, 
To giue an old palmer drinke therin.' 

6 ' But an thy lemman came from Roome, 
Cupps and canns thou wold fund soone.' 



7 Shee sware by God & good St. John, 
Lemman had shee neuer none. 

8 Saies, ' Peace, ffaire mayd, you are fforsworne ! 
Nine children you haue borne. 

9 ' Three were buryed vnder thy bed's head, 
Other three vnder thy brewing leade. 

10 ' Other three on yon play greene ; 
Count, maid, and there be 9.' 

11 * But I hope you are the good old man 
That all the world beleeues vpon. 

12 ( Old palmer, I pray thee, 
Pennaunce that thou wilt giue to me.' 

13 ' Penance I can giue thee none, 
But 7 yeere to be a stepping-stone. 

14 ' Other seaven a clapper in a bell, 
Other 7 to lead an ape in hell. 

15 ' When thou hast thy penance donl, 
Then thoust come a mayden home.' 



B 



A Ballad Book, by Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, edited by 
David Laing, p. 157 f, vn ; from Sir W. Scott's recollection. 

1 ' SEVEN years ye shall be a stone, 

For many a poor palmer to rest him upon. 
And you the fair maiden of Gowden-gane 



2 ' Seven years ye '11 be porter of hell, 
And then I '11 take you to mysell.' 

***** 

3 ' Weel may I be a' the other three, 
But porter of hell I never will be.' 

And I, etc. 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



233 



A. 2 1 . White shee washee & white. 2 2 . White. 
9 1 . They were. 

10 1 . on won. 10 2 . maids. 

B. Note by Scott : " There is or was a curious 

song with this burthen to the verse, 

' And I the fair maiden of Gowden-gane.' 
Said maiden is, I think, courted by the devil 



in human shape, but I only recollect imper 
fectly the concluding stanzas [1, 2] : 

' Seven years ye shall be a stone,' 

(here a chorus line which I have forgot), etc. 
The lady answers, in allusion to a former word 
which I have forgotten, 

Weel may I be [etc., st. 3]." 



22 
ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 

Sloane MS., 2593, fol. 22 b; British Museum. 



THE manuscript which preserves this de 
lightful little legend has been judged by the 
handwriting to be of the age of Henry VI. 
It was printed entire by Mr T. Wright, in 
1856, for the Warton Club, under the title, 
Songs and Carols, from a manuscript in the 
British Museum of the fifteenth century, the. 
ballad at p. 63. Ritson gave the piece as ' A 
Carol for St Stephen's Day,' in Ancient 
Songs, 1790, p. 83, and it has often been re 
peated ; e. g., in Sandys' Christmas Carols, p. 
4, Sylvester's, p. 1. 

The story, with the Wise Men replacing 
Stephen, is also found in the carol, still cur 
rent, of ' The Carnal and the Crane,' Sandys, 
p. 152, in %onj unction with other legends and 
in this order : the Nativity, the Wise Men's 
passage with Herod, the Massacre of the In 
nocents, the Flight into Egypt, Herod and 
the Sower. 

The legend of Stephen and Herod occurs, 
and is even still living, in Scandinavian tradi 
tion, combined, as* in English, with others re 
lating to the infancy of Jesus. 

Danish. ' Jesusbarnet, Stefan og Herodes : ' 
A, Grundtvig, No 96, n, 525. First printed 

* Everriculum fermenti veteris, sen residuse in Danico 
orbe cum paganism! turn papismi reliquiae in apricum pro 
late. " Rogata anus num vera esse crederet quse canebat, 
30 



in Erik Pontoppidan's little book on the rel- 
iques of Paganism and Papistry among the 
Danish People, 1736, p. 70, as taken down 
from the singing of an old beggar-woman be 
fore the author's door.* Syv alludes to the 
ballad in 1695, and cites one stanza. The 
first five of eleven stanzas are devoted to the 
beauty of the Virgin, the Annunciation, and 
the birth of the Saviour. The song then goes 
on thus : 

6 Saint Stephen leads the foals to water, 

All by the star so gleaming : 
' Of a truth the prophet now is born 
That all the world shall ransom.' 

7 King Herod answered thus to him : 

' I '11 not believe this story, 
Till the roasted cock that is on the board 
Claps his wings and crows before me.' 

8 The cock he clapped his wings and crew, 

' Our Lord, this is his birthday ! ' 
Herod fell off from his kingly seat, 
For grief he fell a swooning. 

9 King Herod bade saddle his courser gray, 

He listed to ride to Bethlem ; 

respondit : Me ilia in dubium vocaturam aTerruncet Deus ! " 
Grundtvig, n, 518. 



234 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD. 



:F 



Fain would he slay the little child 
That to cope with him pretended. 

10 Mary took the child in her arms, 

And Joseph the ass took also, 
So they traversed the Jewish land, 
To Egypt, as God them guided. 

11 The little children whose blood was shed, 

They were full fourteen thousand, 
But Jesus was thirty miles away 
Before the sun was setting. 

B. A broadside of fourteen four-line stanzas, 
in two copies, a of the middle, b from the lat 
ter part, of the last century, b was printed 
"in the Dansk Kirketidende for 1862, No 43," 
by Professor George Stephens : a is given by 
Grundtvig, in, 881. The first three stanzas 
correspond to A 15, the next three to A 6-8 : 
the visit of the Wise Men to Herod is then 
intercalated, 7-10, and the story concludes as 
in A 9-11. 

C. ' Sankt Steffan,' Kristensen, n, 128, No 
36, from recitation about 1870, eight four-line 
stanzas, 1-3 agreeing with A 3-6, 4-6 with 
A 6-9, 7, 8 with A 9, 11. The verbal re 
semblance with the copy sung by the old beg 
gar-woman more than a hundred and thirty 
years before is often close. 

A Faroe version,] ' Rudisar visa,' was com 
municated to the Dansk Kirketidende for 1852, 
p. 293, by Hammershaimb, twenty-six two-line 
stanzas (Grundtvig, II, 519). Stephen is in 
Herod's service. He goes out and sees the 
star in the east, whereby he knows that the 
Saviour of the world, " the great king," is 
born. He comes in and makes this announce 
ment. Herod orders his eyes to be put out : 

* " Staffans-skede, lusus, vel, ut rectius dicam, licentia 
pueroruta ngrestium, qui in Festo S. Stephani, equis vecti 
per villas discurrunt, et cerevisiam in lagenis, ad hoc ipsum 
praeparatis, mendicando ostiatim colliguut : " a dissertation, 
Upsala, 1734, cited by Bergstrom in his edition of Afzelius, 
n, 358, note 28. Skede is gallop, or run, Icelandic skeiS 
(Bergstrom), Norwegian skeid, skjei. Many copies of the 
Staffansvisa have been collected : see Bergstrom's Afzelius, 
ii, 356 : and for a description of the custom as practised 
among Swedes in Finland, with links and lanterns, but no 
foals, Fagerlund, Anteckningar om Korpo och Houtskars 
Socknar, p. 39 ff. Something very similar was known in 
Holstein : see Schiitze, Holsteinsches Idioticon, in, 200, as 



so, he says, it will appear whether this "king" 
will help him. They put out Stephen's eyes, 
but now he sees as well by night as before by 
day. At this moment a cock, roast and carved, 
is put on the board before Herod, who cries 
out: 

' If this cock would stand up and crow, 
Then in Stephen's tale should I trow.' 

Herod he stood, and Herod did wait, 

The cock came together that lay in the plate. 

The cock flew up on the red gold chair, 
He clapped his wings, and he crew so fair. 

Herod orders his horse and rides to Bethle 
hem, to find the new-born king. As he comes 
in, Mary greets him, and tells him there is 
still mead and wine. He answers that she 
need not be so mild with him : he will have 
her son and nail him on the cross. "Then 
you must go to heaven for him," says Mary. 
Herod makes an attempt on Jesus, but is 
seized by twelve angels and thrown into the 
Jordan, where the Evil One takes charge of 
him. 

Swedish. A single stanza, corresponding 
to Danish A 6, B 4, C 4, is preserved in a 
carol, ' Staffans Visa,' which was wont to be 
sung all over Sweden on St Stephen's day, 
in the Christmas sport, not yet given up, 
called Staffansskede ; which consisted in young 
fellows riding about from house to house early 
in the morning of the second day of Yule, 
and levying refreshments.* One of the party 
carried at the end of a pole a lighted lantern, 
made of hoops and oiled paper, which was 
sometimes in the shape of a six-cornered star. 
Much of the chant was improvised, and both 

quoted by Grundtvig, 11, 521, note **. From Chambers' Book 
of Days, n, 763 f, it appears that a custom, called a Stephen- 
ing, was still existing at the beginning of this century, of 
the inhabitants of the parish of Dray ton Beauchamp, Bucks, 
paying a visit to the rector on December 26, and lightening 
his stores of all the bread, cheese and ale they wanted. 
Chambers, again, in his Popular Khymes of Scotland, p. 
168 f, gives a song closely resembling the Staff acsvisa, which 
was sung before every house on New Year's eve, in Deer- 
ness, Orkney, with the same object of stimulating hospital- 
itv. Similar practices are known in the Scottish Highlands : 
see Campbell, Tales of the West Highlands, in, 19, and 
Chambers, at p. 167 of the Popular Rhymes, 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



235 



the good wishes and the suggestions as to the 
expected treat would naturally be suited to 
particular cases ; but the first stanza, with but 
slight variations, was (Afzelius, in, 208, 210) : 

Stephen was a stable-groom, 

We thank you now so kindly ! 
He watered the five foals all and some, 

Ere. the morning star was shining. 

No daylight 's to be seen, 

The stars in the sky 
Are gleaming. 

or, 

Stephen was a stable-groom, 

Bear thee well my foal ! 
He watered the five foals all and some, 
God help us and Saint Stephen ! 
The sun is not a-shining, 
But the stars in the sky 
Are gleaming. 

There is also a Swedish ballad which has 
the substance of the story of Danish A 6-8, 
but without any allusion to Stephen. It oc 
curs as a broadside, in two copies, dated 1848, 
1851, and was communicated by Professor 
Stephens to the Dansk Kirketidende, 1861, 
Nos 3, 4, and is reprinted by Grundtvig, in, 
882 f, and in Bergstrom's Afzelius, n, 360 f. 
There are eleven four-line stanzas, of which 
the last six relate how Mary was saved from 
Herod by the miracle of the Sower (see ' The 
Carnal and the Crane,' stanzas 18-28). The 
first five cover the matter of our ballad. The 
first runs : 

In Bethlem of Judah a star there rose, 
At the time of the birth of Christ Jesus : 

' Now a child is born into the world 

That shall suffer for us death and torment.' 

Herod then calls his court and council, and 



says to them, as he says to Stephen in the 
Danish ballad, " I cannot believe your story 
unless the cock on this table claps his wings 
and crows." This comes to pass, and Herod 
exclaims that he can never 'thrive till he has 
made that child feel the effects of his wrath. 
He then steeps his hands in the blood of the 
Innocents, and falls off his throne in a marvel 
lous swoon. Mary is warned to fly to Egypt. 
It, is altogether likely that the person who 
speaks in the first stanza was originally the 
same as the one who says nearly the same 
thing in the three Danish ballads, that is, 
Stephen, and altogether unlikely that Herod's 
words, which are addressed to Stephen in the 
Danish ballads, were addressed to his court 
and council rather than to Stephen here. 

Norwegian. Two stanzas, much corrupted, 
of what may have been a ballad like the fore 
going, have been recovered by Professor 
Bugge, and are given by Grundtvig, m, 883. 

St Stephen's appearance as a stable-groom, 
expressly in the Swedish carol and by impli 
cation in the Danish ballads, is to be ex 
plained by his being the patron of horses 
among the northern nations.* On his day, 
December 26, which is even called in Germany 
the great Horse Day, it was the custom for 
horses to be let blood to keep them well dur 
ing the year following, or raced to protect 
them from witches. In Sweden they were 
watered " ad alienos fontes" (which, perhaps, 
is what Stephen is engaged in in the carol), 
and treated to the ale which had been left in 
the cups on St Stephen's eve ; etc., etc.f This 
way of observing St Stephen's day is presumed 
to be confined to the north of Europe, or at 
least to be derived from that quarter. Other 
saints are patrons of horses in the south, as 
St Eloi, St Antony, and we must seek the 
explanation of St Stephen's having that office 



* Stephen in all the ballads can be none other than the 
first martyr, though Ihre, and other Swedes since his day, 
choose, for their part, to understand a " Stephanum primum 
Helsingorum apostolum," who certainly did not see the star 
in the east. The peasantry in Helsingland, we are told, 
make their saints' day December 26, too, and their St Ste 
phen is a great patron of horses. The misappropriation of 
the glories of the protomartyr is somewhat transparent. 

t Grundtvig, whom I chiefly follow here, n, 521-24. In 



a note on page 521, supplemented at m, 883 e, Grundtvig 
has collected much interesting evidence of December 26 being 
the great Horse Day. J. W. Wolf, cited by Grundtvig, n, 
524, had said previously : " Nichts im leben des ersten 
christlichen blutzeugen erinnert auch nur fern an pferde; 
trotzdem machte das volk ihn zum patron der pferde, und 
setzte ihn also an die stelle des Fro, dem im Norden, und 
nicht weniger bei uns, die pferde heilig waren." Beitrage 
zur deutschen Mythologie, i, 124. 



236 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



4 



in Scandinavia, Germany, and England in the 
earlier history of these regions. It was sug 
gested as long ago as the middle of the six 
teenth century by the Archbishop Olaus Mag 
nus, that the horseracing, which was universal 
in Sweden on December 26, was a remnant of 
heathen customs. The horse was sacred to 
Frey, and Yule was Frey's festival. There 
can hardly be a doubt that the customs con 
nected with St Stephen's day are a continua 
tion, under Christian auspices, of old rites and 
habits which, as in so many other cases, the 
church found it easier to consecrate than to 
abolish.* 

The miracle of the cock is met with in 
other ballads, which, for the most part, relate 
the wide-spread legend of the Pilgrims of St 
James. 

French. In three versions, Chants de Pau- 
vres en Forez et en Velay, collected by M. 
Victor Smith, Romania, n, 473 ff. Three pil 
grims, father, mother, and son, on their way 
to St James, stop at an inn, at St Dominic. 
A maid-servant, enamored of the youth (qui 
ressemble une image, que serablavo-z-un ange) 
is repelled by him, and in revenge puts a sil 
ver cup [cups] belonging to the house into his 
knapsack. The party is pursued and brought 
back, and the young pilgrim is hanged. He 
exhorts his father to accomplish his vow, and 
to come that way when he returns. When the 
father returns, after three [six] months, the 
boy is found to be alive; his feet have been 
supported, and he has been nourished, by God 
and the saints. The father tells the judge 
that his son is alive ; the judge replies, I will 
believe that when this roast fowl crows. The 
bird crows : A, le poulet se mit a chanter sur 
la table ; B, le poulet vole au ciel, trois fois 
n'a battu 1'aile ; C, trois fois il a chante", trois 
fois 1'a battu 1'aile. The boy is taken down 
and the maid hanged. 

Spanish. A, Mild, Observaciones sobre la 
Poesia Popular, p. 106, No 7, ' El Romero ; ' 

* Jean Baptiste Thiers, Traite des Superstitions, etc., 2d 
ed., Paris, 1697, as cited by Liebrecht, Gervasius von Tilbury, 
Otia Imperialia, p. 233, No 169, condemns the belief, " qu'il 
vaut bien mieux .... saigner des chevaux le jour de la 
fte de S. Estienne qu'fc tout autre jour." This may be one 



B, Briz, Cansons de la Terra, I, 71, ' S. Jaume 
de Galicia,' two copies essentially agreeing. 
The course of the story is nearly as in the 
French. The son does not ask his father to 
come back. It is a touch of nature that the 
mother cannot be prevented from going back 
by all that her husband can say. The boy is 
more than well. St James has been sustain 
ing his feet, the Virgin his head. He directs 
his mother to go to the alcalde (Mild), who 
will be dining on a cock and a hen, and to 
request him politely to release her son, who 
is still alive. The alcalde replies : " Off with 
you ! Your son is as much alive as this cock 
and hen." The cock began to crow, the hen 
laid an egg in the dish ! 

Dutch. ' Een liedeken van sint Jacob,' 
Antwerpener Liederbuch, 1544, No 20, Hoff 
mann, p. 26 ; Uhland, p. 803, No 303 ; Wil- 
lems, p. 318, No 133. The pilgrims here are 
only father and son. The host's daughter^ 
avows her love to her father, and desires to 
detain the young pilgrim. The older pilgrim, 
hearing of this, says, My son with me and 
I with him. We will seek St James, as pil 
grims good and true. The girl puts the cup i 
in the father's sack. The son offers himself 
in his father's place, and is hanged. The fa- 
ther finds that St Jarnes and the Virgin have 
not been unmindful of the pious, and tells the 
host that his son is alive. The host, in a rage, 
exclaims, " That 's as true as that these roast 
fowls shall fly out at the door ! " 

But ere the host could utter the words, 
One by one from the spit brake the birds, 

And into the street went flitting ; 
They flew on the roof of St Dominic's house, 

Where all the brothers were sitting. 

The brothers resolve unanimously to go to the 
judicial authority in procession; the innocent 
youth is taken down, the host hanged, and his 
daughter buried alive. 

Wendish. Haupt und Schmaler, I, 285, No n i 

of the practices which Thiers had learned of from his read 
ing (see Liebrecht's preface, p. xviif), but might also have 
migrated from the east or uprth into France. Superstitions, 
like new fashions, are always sure of a hospitable reception, 
even though they impose a servitude. 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



237 



28.9, ' Der gehenkte Schenkwirth.' There are 
two pilgrims, father and son. The host him 
self puts his gold key into the boy's basket. 
The boy is hanged : the father bids him hang 
1 a year and a day, till he returns. The Virgin 
has put a stool under the boy's feet, and the 
angels have fed him. The father announces 
to the host that his son is living. The host 
will not believe this till three dry staves which 
he has in the house shall put out green shoots. 
This comes to pass. The host will not believe 
' till three fowls that are roasting shall recover 
their feathers and fly out of the window. This 
also comes to pass. The host is hanged. 

A Breton ballad, 'Marguerite Laurent,' Lu- 
zel, I, A, p. 211, B, p. 215, inverts a principal 
circumstance in the story of the pilgrims : a 
maid is hanged on a false accusation of hav 
ing stolen a piece of plate. This may be an 
independent tradition or a corrupt form of the 
other. Marguerite has, by the grace of St 
Anne and of the Virgin, suffered no harm. 
A young clerk, her lover, having ascertained 
this, reports the case to the seneschal, who 
will not believe till the roasted capon on the 
dish crows. The capon crows. Marguerite 
goes on her bare knees to St Anne and .to 
Notre-Dame du Folgoat, and dies in the 
church of the latter (first version). 

' Notre-Dame du Folgoat,' Villemarque", 
Barzaz Breiz, p. 272, No 38, 6th ed., is of a 
different tenor. Marie Fanchonik, wrongly 
condemned to be executed for child murder, 
though hanged, does not die. The execu- 

* From a copy of this collection the story is given in Acta 
Sanctorum, vi Julii, p. 50, 202 ff. 

t Vincent, as pointed out by Professor George Stephens, 
knew of the miracle of the cock, and tells it at 1. 25, c. 64, 
on the authority of Pietro Damiani. Two Bolognese dining 
together, one of them carved a cock and dressed it with pep 
per and sauce. " Gossip," says the other, "you have ' fixed' 
that cock so that Peter himself could not put him on his legs 
again." " Peter ? No, not Christ himself." At this the cock 
jumped up, in all his feathers, clapped his wings, crew, and 
threw the sauce all over the blasphemous pair, whereby they 
were smitten with leprosy. 

t So, naturally, the Fornsvenskt Legendarium, i, 170, 
and the Catalan Recull de Eximplis e Miracles, etc., Barce 
lona, 1880, i, 298. 

Opus de Tholosanorum gestis, fol. 49 verso, according 
to Acta S., p. 46, of the volume last cited. Toulouse rivalled 
with Compostella in the possession of relics of St James, and 



tioner reports to the seneschal. " Burn her," 
says the seneschal. " Though in fire up to her 
breast," says the executioner, " she is laugh 
ing heartily." "Sooner shall this capon crow 
than I will believe you." The capon crows : a 
roast capon on the dish, all eaten but the feet. 

Religious writers of the 13th century navel 
their version of the story of the pilgrims, but 
without the prodigy of the cock. Vincent of 
Beauvais, Speculum Historiale, 1. 26, c. 33, 
who bases his narrative on a collection of the 
miracles of St James incorrectly attributed to 
Pope Callixtus II,* has but two pilgrims, Ger- I 
mans, father and son. On their way to Com 
postella they pass a night in an inn at Tou- , 
louse. The host, having an eye -to the forfeit 
ure of their effects, makes them drunk and 
hides a silver cup in their wallet. Son wishes 
to die for father, and father for son. The 
son is hanged, and St James interposes to 
preserve his life.f With Vincent agree the 
author of the Golden Legend, following Cal 
lixtus, Graesse, 2d ed., p. 426, c. 99 (94), 
5,$ and Csesarius Heisterbacensis, Dialogus 
Miraculorum, c. 58, II, 130, ed. Strange, who, 
however, does not profess to remember every 
particular, and omits to specify Toulouse as 
the place. Nicolas Bertrand, who published 
in 1515 a history of Toulouse, places the mira 
cle there. He has three pilgrims, like the 
French and Spanish ballads, and the roast 
fowl flying from the spit to convince a doubt 
ing official, like the Dutch and Wendish bal 
lads. 



was amply entitled to the honor of the miracle. Dr Andrew 
Borde, in his First Book of the Introduction of Knowledge, 
says that an ancient doctor of divinity at Compostella told 
him, " We have not one hair nor bone of St. James; for St 
James the More and St James the Less, St Bartholomew 
and St Philip, St Simon and Jude, St Bernard and St 
George, with divers other saints, Carolus Magnus brought 
them to Toulouse." Ed. Furnivall, p. 204 f . I do not know 
where the splenetic old divine got his information, but cer 
tainly from no source so trustworthy as the chronicle of Tur- 
pin. Besides other places in France, the body, or at least 
the head, of St James was claimed by churches in Italy, 
Germany, and the Low Countries. But the author of an old 
Itinerary of the Pilgrims to Compostella asserts that James 
the Greater is one of four saints who never changed his 
burial-place. See Victor Le Clerc in Hist. Litt. de la 
France, xxi, 283. 



238 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



But, much earlier than the last date, this 
miracle of St James had become connected 
with the town of San Domingo de la Calzada, 
one of the stations on the way to Compostella,* 
some hours east of Burgos. Roig, the Valen- 
cian poet, on arriving there in the course of 
his pilgrimage, tells the tale briefly, with two 
roasted fowls, cock and hen : Lo Libre de les 
Dones e de Cone, ells, 1460,) as printed by Briz 
from the edition of 1735, p. 42, Book 2, vv. 
135-183. Lucio Marineo, whose work, De 
las cosas memorables de Espana, appeared in 
1530, had been at San Domingo, and is able 
to make some addition to the miracle of the 
cock/, Up to the revivification, his account 
agrees very well with the Spanish ballad. A 
roast cock and hen are lying before the mayor, 
and when he expresses his incredulity, they 
jump from the dish on to the table, in feathers 
whiter than snow. After the pilgrims had 
set out a second time on their way to Com 
postella, to return thanks to St James, the 
mayor returned to his house with the priests 
and all the people, and took the cock and hen 
to the church, where they lived seven years, 
and then died, leaving behind them a pair of 
the same snowy whiteness, who in turn, after 
seven years, left their successors, and so on to 
Marineo's day ; and though of the infinite 
number of pilgrims who resorted to the tomb 
each took away a feather, the plumage was al 
ways full, and Marineo speaks as an eye-wit 
ness. (Edition of 1539, fol. xliii.) Dr Andrew 
Borde gives nearly the same account as Ma 
rineo, in the First Book of the Introduction 
of Knowledge, 1544, p. 202 ff, ed. Furnivall.t 

Early in the sixteenth century the subject 
was treated in at least two miracle-plays, for 
which it is very well adapted : Un miracolo 

* See ' La grande Chanson des Pelerins de Saint-Jacques,' 
in Socard, Noels et Cantiques, etc., p. 76, last stanza, p. 80, 
third stanza, p. 89, fifth stanza ; the last = Romancero de 
Champagne, i, 165, stanza 5. 

t Southey follows Marineo in his Christmas Tale of " The 
Pilgrim to Compostella." 

J " Audi eine deutsche Jesuitenkomodie, Peregrinus Com- 
postellanus, Innsbruck, 1624, behandelt diesen Stoff. F. Lie- 
brecht, in Serapeum, 1864, S. 235." 

Vasari, v, 184, Milan, 1809 ; Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 
in, 124, n, 566 ff, ed. 1866 ; Mrs Jameson's Sacred and 
Legendary Art, i, 241, ed. 1857. Professor N. H0yen indi- 



di tre Pellegrini, printed at Florence^ early in 
the sixteenth century, D'Ancona, Sacre Rap- 
presentazioni, in, 465 ; Ludus Sancti Jacobi, 
fragment de mystere provencale, Camille Ar- 
naud, 1858.$ 

Nicolas Bertrand, before referred to, speaks 
of the miracle as depicted in churches and 
chapels of St James. It was, for example, 
painted by Pietro Antonio of Foligno, in the 
fifteenth century, in SS. Antonio e Jacopo at 
Assisi, and by Pisanello in the old church of 
the Tempio at Florence, and, in the next cen 
tury, by Palmezzano in S. Biagio di S. Giro- 
lamo at Forli, and by Lo Spagna in a small 
chapel or tribune dedicated to St James, about 
four miles from Spoleto, on the way to Foligno. 
The same legend is painted on one of the lower 
windows of St Ouen, and again on a window 
of St Vincent, at Rouen. Many more cases 
might, no doubt, be easily collected. 

It is not at all surprising that a miracle 
performed at San Domingo de la Calzada 
should, in the course of time, be at that place 
attributed to the patron of the locality ; and 
we actually find Luis de la Vega, in a life of 
this San Domingo published at Burgos in 
1606, repeating Marineo's story, very nearly, 
with a substitution of Dominic for James. || 
More than this, this author claims for this 
saint, who, saving reverence, is decidedly mi- 
norum gentium, the merit and glory of deliv 
ering a captive from the Moors, wherein he, or 
tradition, makes free again with St James's 
rightful honors. The Moor, when told that the 
captive will some day be missing, rejoins, If 
you keep him as close as when I last saw him, 
he will as soon escape as this roast cock will 
fly and crow. It is obvious that this anecdote 
is a simple jumble of two miracles of St James, 

cated to Grundtvig the picture of Pietro Antonio, and d'An- 
cona refers to Pisanello's. 

|| He denies the perpetual multiplication of the feathers, 
and adds that the very gallows on which the. pilgrim was 
hanged is erected in the upper part of the church, where 
everybody can see it. It is diverting to find Grossenhain, in 
Saxony, claiming the miracle on the ground of a big cock 
in an altar picture in a chapel of St James : Grasse, Sagen- 
schatz des Koriigreichs Sachsen, 2d ed., i, 80, No 82, from 
Chladenius, Materialien zu Grossenhayner Stadtchronik, i, 
2, Pirna, 1788; in verse by Ziehnert, Volkssagen, p. 99, No 
14, ed. 1851. 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



239 



the freeing of the captives, recounted in Acta 
Sanctorum, vi Julii, p. 47, 190 f, and the 
saving the life of the young pilgrim.* 

The restoration of a roasted fowl to life is 
also narrated in Acta Sanctorum, I Septem- 
bris, p. 529, 289, as occurring early in the 
eleventh century (the date assigned to the 
story of the pilgrims), at the table of St Ste 
phen, the first king of Hungary. St Gunther 
was sitting with the king while he was dining. 
The king pressed Gunther to partake of a 
roast peacock, but Gunther, as he was bound 
by his rule to do, declined. The king then 
ordered him to eat. Gunther bent his head 
and implored the divine mercy ; the bird flew 
up from the dish ; the king no longer per 
sisted. The author of the article, without 
questioning the reality of the miracle, well 
remarks that there seems to be something 
wrong in the story, since it is impossible that 
the holy king should have commanded the 
saint to break his vow. 

But the prime circumstances in the legend, 
the resuscitation of the cock, does not belong 



in the eleventh century, where Vincent and 
others have put it, but in the first, where it 
is put by the English and Scandinavian bal- J 
lads. A French romance somewhat older than 
Vincent, Ogier le Danois, agrees with the later 
English ballad in making the occasion to be 
the visit of the Wise Men to Herod. Herod 
will not believe what they say, 

' Se cis capon que ci m'est en presant 
N'en est plumeus com il estoit devant, 
Et se redrece a la perche en cantant.' 

vv 11621-23. 

And what he exacts is performed for his con 
viction, f Nevertheless, as we shall now see, 
the true epoch of the event is not the Na 
tivity, but the Passion. 

The ultimate source of the miracle of the 
reanimated cock is an interpolation in two 
late Greek manuscripts of the so-called Gos 
pel of Nicodemus : Thilo, Codex Apocryphus 
Novi Testamenti, p. cxxix f ; Tischendorf, 
Evangelia Apocrypha, p. 269, note 3. After 
Judas had tried to induce the Jews to take 



* For Luis de la Vega, see Acta Sanctorum, in Maii, p. 
171 f, 6, 7, 8, vi Julii, p. 46, 187. The Spanish and the 
Dutch ballad give due glory to St James and the Virgin ; 
French C to God and St James. The VVendish ballad can 
hardly be expected to celebrate St James, and refers the jus 
tification and saving of the boy to the Virgin and the saints. 
French A has St Michas ; B, God and the Virgin. 

Luis de la Vega, with what seems an excess of caution, 
says, p. 172, as above, 8 : appositique erant ad corned endum 
gallus et gallina, assati nescio an elixi. Of boiled fowl we 
have not heard so far. But we find in a song in Fletcher's 
play of ' The Spanish Curate,' this stanza : 

The stewd cock shall crow, cock-a-loodle-loo, 

A loud cock-a-loodle shall he crow; 
The duck and the drake shall swim in a lake 

Of onions and claret below. 

Act III, Sc. 2; Dyce, viii, 436. 

In Father Merolla's Voyage to Congo, 1682, a reference 
to which I owe to Liebrecht, there is a story of a stewed 
cock, which, on the whole, justifies Luis de la Vega's scruple. 
This must have been introduced into Africa by some mis- 
sioner, and, when so introduced, the miracle must have had 
an object, which it had lost before the tale came to Father 
Merolla. 

One of two parties at feud having marched upon the chief 
city of his antagonist, and found all the inhabitants fled, the 
soldiers fell to rifling the houses and killing all the living 
creatures they met, to satisfy their hunger. " Amongst the 
rest they found a cock of a larger size than ordinary, with a 
great ring of iron about one of his legs, which occasioned 



one of the wisest among them to cry out, Surely this cock 
must be bewitched, and it is not at all proper for us to med 
dle with. To which the rest answered, Be it what it will, 
we are resolved to eat it. For this end they immediately 
killed and tore it to pieces after the manner of the negroes, 
and afterwards put it into a pot to boil. When it was 
enough, they took it out into a platter, and two, according 
to the custom, having said grace, five of them sat down to 
it with great greediness. But before they had touched a bit, 
to their great wonder and amazement, the boiled pieces of 
the cock, though sodden, and near dissolved, began to move 
about and unite into the form they were in before, and, being 
so united, the restored cock immediately raised himself up, 
and jumped out of the platter upon the ground, where he 
walked about as well as when he was first taken. After 
wards he leaped upon an adjoining wall, where he became 
new feathered all of a sudden, and then took his flight to a 
tree hard by, where fixing himself, he, after three claps of 
his wings, made a most hideous noise, and then disappeared. 
Every one may easily imagine what a terrible fright the 
spectators were in at this sight, who, leaping with a thousand 
Ave Marias in their mouths from the place where this had 
happened, were contented to observe most of the particulars 
at a distance." It appears that the brother of one of the two 
contending parties was said to have had a very large cock, 
from whose crowing he took auguries, but whether this was 
the same as the one restored to life is not known. Church 
ill's Collection of Voyages and Travels, 1704, 1, 682, Pinker- 
ton's Collection, xvi, 229. 

t La Chevalerie Ogier de Danemarche, par Raimbert de 
Paris, Poeme da xii siecle, etc., n, 485, vv 11606-627. 



240 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



back the thirty pieces, he went to his house 
to hang himself, and found his wife sitting 
there, and a cock roasting on a spit before the 
coals. He said to his wife, Get me a rope, for 
I mean to hang myself, as I deserve. His wife 
said to him, Why do you say such things ? 
And Judas said to her, Know in truth that I 
have betrayed my master Jesus to evil-doers, 
who will put him to death. But he will rise 
on the third day, and woe to us. His wife 
said, Do not talk so nor believe it ; for this 
cock that is roasting before the coals will as 
soon crow as Jesus rise again as you say. And 
even while she was speaking the words, the 
cock flapped his wings and crew thrice. Then 
Judas was still more persuaded, and straight 
way made a noose of the rope and hanged 
himself.* 

The Cursor Mundi gives its own turn to 
this relation, with the intent to blacken Judas 
a little more.f When Judas had betrayed 
Jesus, he went to his mother with his pence, 
boasting of the act. " Hast thou sold thy 
master ? " said she. " Shame shall be thy 
lot, for they will put him to death ; but he 
shall rise again." "Rise, mother?" said Ju 
das, " sooner shall this cock rise up that was 
scalded yesternight." 

Hardly had he said the word, 

The cock leapt up and flew, 
Feathered fairer than before, 

And by God's grace he crew ; 
The traitor false began to fear, 

His peril well he knew. 
This cock it was the self-same cock 

Which Peter made to rue, 
When he had thrice denied bis lord 

And proved to him untrue. 

A still different version existed among the 
Copts, who had their copies of the apocryphal 

* The gospel of Nicodemus was introduced into the 
French and the Italian romance of Perceforest, but unfortu 
nately this "narratio ab inepto Grseculo pessime interpo- 
lata " (Thilo) seems to be lacking. 

t Cursor Mundi, a Northumbrian poem of the 14th cen 
tury, in four versions, ed. by R. Morris, p. 912 f, vv 15961- 
998. This passage was kindly pointed out to me by Profes 
sor George Stephens. 

{ Relation d'un Voyage fait au Levant par Monsieur De 



'writings, and among them the gospel of Nico 
demus. 

The Copts say, according to The'venot, 
" that on the day of the Supper a roasted 
cock was served to our Lord, and that when 
Judas went out to sell Jesus to the Jews, the 
Saviour commanded the cock to get up and 
follow him ; which the cock did, and brought 
back his report to our Lord that Judas had 
sold him, for which service this cock shall be 
admitted to paradise." $ 

The herald of the morn is described in 
other carols as making known the birth of 
the Saviour to the animal creation, or the 
more familiar members of it. 

" There is a sheet of carols headed thus : 
* CHEISTUS NATUS EST, Christ is born,' with 
a wood-cut ten inches high by eight and one 
half inches wide, representing the stable at 
Bethlehem ; Christ in the crib, watched by 
the Virgin and Joseph ; shepherds kneeling ; 
angels attending ; a man playing on the bag 
pipes ; a woman with a basket of fruit on her 
head ; a sheep bleating and an ox lowing on 
the ground ; a raven croaking and a crow 
cawing on the hay-rack ; a cock crowing above 
them ; and angels singing in the sky. The 
animals have labels from their mouths, bearing 
Latin inscriptions. Down the side of the wood 
cut is the following account and explanation : 
' A religious man, inventing the conceits of 
both birds and beasts, drawn in the picture of 
our Saviour's birth, doth thus express them. 
The cock croweth Ohristus natus est, Christ is 
born. The raven asked Quando, When ? The 
crow replied, Sac nocte, This night. The ox 
cryeth out, Ubi, ubi ? Where, where ? The 
sheep bleated out, Bethlehem, Bethlehem. A 
voice from heaven sounded, Gloria in excelsis, 
Glory be on high ! ' " London, 1701. Hone's 
Every-Day Book, I, col. 1600 f. 

The'venot, Paris, 1665, i, 502. Cited by Thilo, p. xxxvii, 
and by Victor Smith, Romania, n, 474, who adds : " Parmi 
les manuscrits rapportes d'Ethiopie par M. d'Abbadie, il se 
trouve un volume dont le titre a pour equivalent, Actes de la 
passion. Un chapitre de ce volume, intitule Le livre du coq, 
developpe la le'gende indiquee par The'venot. Catalogue 
raisonne des manuscrits ethiopiens, appartenant a M. A. T. 
d'Ahbadie, in 4, imp. impe'riale, Paris, 1859." 



22. ST STEPHEN AND HEROD 



241 



So in Vieux Noels franais, in Les Noels 
Bressans, etc., par Philibert Le Due, p. 145. 

Joie des Bestes 
a la nouvelle de la naissance du Sauveur. 

Comme les Bestes autrefois 
Parloient mieux latin que fran9ois, 
Le Coq, de loin voyant le faict, 
S'e'cria : Christus natus est ; 
Le Boeaf, d'un air tout ebaubi, 
Demande : Ubi, ubi, ubi ? 
La Chevre, se torchant le groin, 
Respond que c'est a Bethleem ; 
Maistre Baudet, curiosus 
De Taller voir, dit : JSamus ; 
Et, droit sur ses pattes, le Veau 
Beugle deux fois : Volo, volo* 

And again, in Italian, Bolza, Canzoni popo- 
lari comasche, p. 654, No 30 : 

H Gallo. & nato Gesu ! 

II Bue. In dova? 

La Pecora. Betlem ! Betlem ! 

L'Asino. Andem ! Andem ! Andem ! 

A little Greek ballad, ' The Taking of Con 
stantinople,' only seven lines long, relates a 
miracle entirely like that of the cock, which 
was operated for the conviction of incredulity. 
A nun, frying fish, hears a voice from above, 
saying, Cease your frying, the city will fall 
into the hands of the Turks. " When the fish 
fly out of the pan alive," she says, " then shall 



the Turks take the city." The fish fly out of 
the pan alive, and the Turkish admiraud comes 
riding into the city. Zambelios, p. 600, No 
2 ; Passow, p. 147, No 197. (Liebrecht, Volks- 
kunde, p. 179.) 

With Herod's questions and Stephen's an 
swers in stanzas 5-8, we may compare a pas 
sage in some of the Greek ballads cited under 
No 17, p. 199. 

2Aa/3e, Travcis; (TK\d(3e, Su/ros; fir] TO if/iapl crov Xciirct; 

<rou 



Lakkyt ]>e ey)>er mete or drynk ? 

fLvu), ju-^re SH^U, p-rjre I/'W/AI [/cpao-lv] p.ov Xeiirct. 

Lakit me neyper mete ne drynk. 

Jeannaraki, p. 203, No 265 : 
Sakellarios, p. 37, No 13. 

pdya, <rov 



/MOV 



Lakkyt J>e eyper gold or fe, 
Or ony ryche wede ? 
QVTC Tretvti), cure Sn/'w, oure pdya p.ov 
Miyre 7Tira>, p-rfrf. Sti/'w, fi^re >cat pov^a 
Lakyt me neyper gold ne fe, 
Ne non ryche wede. 

Tommaseo, m, 154 ; Passow, p. 330, No 449 : 
Tommaseo, m, 152 ; Zambelios, p. 678, No 
103 ; Passow, No 448. 

A Danish translation of the English bal 
lad is printed in Dansk Kirketidende for 1852, 
p. 254 (Grundtvig). Danish A is translated 
by Dr Prior, I, 398. 



Sloane MS., 2593, fol. 22 b, British Museum.': 

1 SEY.ZVT Steuene was a clerk in kyng Herowdes 

halle, 

And seruyd him of bred and clop, as euery 
kyng befalle. 

2 Steuyw out of kechone caw, wyth boris hed on 

honde ; 

He saw a sterre was fayr and bry^t ouer Bed- 
lem sto/ide. 

* " Ce couplet se debite en imitant successivement le chant 
du coq, le mugisaement du bceuf, le cri de la chevre, le 

31 



3 He kyst adoun J>e boris hed and went in to 

J>e halle : 

* I forsak ]?e, kyng Herowdes, and ]>i werkes 
aUe. 

4 ' I forsak fe, kyng Herowdes, and ]ri werkes 

aUe; 

f)er is a chyld in Bedlera born is beter J>an 
we alle.' 

5 * Quat eylyt pe, Steuene ? (\uat is pe befalle ? 

braiment de 1'ane, et le beuglement du veau." Bolza makes 
a similar explanation with regard to the Italian colloquy. 



242 



23. JUDAS 



Lakkyt pe eyper mete or drynk in kyng Her- 
owdes halle ? ' 

6 ' Lakit me neyper mete ne drynk in kyng Her- 

owdes halle ; 

per is a chyld in Bedlewi born is beter paw. we 
alle.' 

7 Quat eylyt pe, Steuyn ? art pu wod, or pu 

gywnyst to brede ? 

Lakkyt pe eyper gold or fe, or ony ryche 
wede ? ' 

8 ' Lakyt me neyper gold ne f e, ne now. ryche 

wede ; 

per is a chyld in Bedlewi born xal helpyw vs 
at our nede.' 



9 'pat is al so sop, Steuyn, al so sop, iwys, 
As pis capoim crowe xal pat lyp here in myn 
'dysh.' 

10 pat word was not so sone seyd, pat word in 

pat halle, 

pe capouw crew Cristus natws est ! among pe 
lordes alle. 

11 Rysyt vp, myw turmeTitowres, be to and al be 

on, 

And ledyt Steuy/i out of pis town, and sto/tyt 
hyra wyth ston ! ' 

12 Tokyw he Steuene, and stonyd hym in the 

way, 
And perfore is his euyrz- on Crystes owyn day. 



I 2 , 5 1 . be falle. 
3 1 . a douw. 3 2 , 4 1 . for sak. 
5 2 . There is room only for the h at the end of 
the line. 



9 1 . also . . . also 
10 2 . a mong. 



. I wys. 9 2 . dych. 



23 

JUDAS 

MS. B. 14, 39, of the thirteenth century, library of Trinity College, Cambridge, as printed in Wright & Halli- 

well's Reliquiae Antiquae, I, 144. 



THIS legend, which has not been heretofore 
recognized as a ballad, is, so far as is known, 
unique in several particulars. The common 
tradition gives Judas an extraordinary domes 
tic history,* but does not endow him with a 
sister as perfidious as himself. Neither is his 
selling his Master for thirty pieces accounted 
for elsewhere as it is here, if it may be strictly 
said to be accounted for here. 

A popular explanation, founded upon John 
xii, 3-6, and current for six centuries and 



more, is that Judas, bearing the bag, was ac 
customed to take tithes of all moneys that 
came into his hands, and that he considered 
he had lost thirty pence on the precious oint 
ment which had not been sold for three hun 
dred pence, and took this way of indemnify 
ing himself. 

A Wendish ballad, Haupt und Schmaler, I, 
276, No 284, has the following story. Jesus 
besought hospitality for himself and his disci 
ples of a poor widow. She could give a lodg- 



* Legenda Aurea, Grasse, 2d ed., p. 184 ff; Mone's An- Poems and Lives of Saints, p. 107 ff; Douhet, Dictionnaire 
zeiger, vn, col. 532 f, and du Me'ril, Poesies populaires lat- des Legendes, col. 714 ff ; Das alte Passional, ed. K. A. Hahn, 
ines du Moyen Age, p. 326 ff; Furnivall, Early English p. 312 ff ; Backstrom, Svenska Folkbocker, n, 198 ff; etc. 



23. JUDAS 



243 



ing, but had no bread. Jesus said he would 
care for that, and asked which of his disciples 
would go and buy bread for thirty pieces of 
silver. Judas offered himself eagerly, and 
went to the Jews' street to do his errand. 
Jews were gaining, under a tub, and they chal 
lenged Judas to play. The first time he won 
the stake, and the second. The third time he 
lost everything. " Why so sad, Judas ? " they 
say : " go sell your Master for thirty pieces." 
We are to suppose Judas to have rejoined his 
company. Jesus then asks who has sold him. 
John says, Is it I ? and Peter, and then Judas, 
to whom Jesus replies, Thou knowest best. 
Judas, in remorse, runs to hang himself. The 
Lord bids him turn, for his sin is forgiven. 
But Judas keeps on till he comes to a fir : 
" Soft wood, thou fir, thou wilt not bear me." 
Further on, till he comes to an aspen. " Hard 
wood, thou aspen, thou wilt bear me." So he 
hanged himself on the aspen; and still the 
aspen shakes and trembles for fear of the 
judgment day. 

According to the ballads, then, Judas lost 
the thirty pieces at play, or was robbed of 
them, with collusion of his sister. But his 
passionate behavior in the English ballad, st. 
9, goes beyond all apparent occasion. Surely 
it was not for his tithe of the thirty pieces. 



And why does he insist to Pilate on the very 
thirty pieces he had lost, rejecting every other 
form of payment ? The ballad-singer might 
answer, So it was, and rest contented. Or 
perhaps he might have heard, and might tell 
us by way of comment, that these pieces had 
for long ages been destined to be " the price of 
him that was valued, whom they of the chil 
dren of Israel did value ; " had been coined by 
Abraham's father for Ninus, and been given 
by Terah to his son ; had passed through va 
rious hands to the Ishmaelites, had been paid 
by them as the price of Joseph, and been re 
paid to Joseph by his brethren for corn in 
Egypt ; thence were transferred to Sheba, and 
in the course of events were brought by the 
Queen of the South as an offering to Solo 
mon's temple ; when the temple was despoiled 
by Nebuchadnezzar, were given by him to the 
king of Godolia, and after the kingdom of 
Godolia had been fused in that of Nubia, were 
brought as his tribute to the infant Jesus by 
Melchior, king of the same, etc.* 

It is much to be regretted that the manu 
script from which this piece was taken has 
been for some years lost from Trinity College 
Library, so that a collation of Wright's text 
has not been possible. 



1 HIT wes upon a Scere-thorsday that ure loverd 

aros; 
Ful milde were the wordes he spec to Judas. 

2 ' Judas, thou most to Jurselem, oure mete for 

to bugge ; 
Thritti platen of selver thou here up othi rugge. 

3 ' Thou comest f er ithe brode stret, f er ithe 

brode strete ; 

Summe of thine tunesmen ther thou meiht 
imete.' 

4 

Imette wid is soster, the swikele wimon. 

* See Fabricius, Codex Pseudepigraphus Veteris Testa 
ment!, ii, 79 ; Godfrey of Viterbo (who derives his informa 
tion from a lost writing of the apostle Bartholomew) in his 



5 ' Judas, thou were wrthe me stende the wid 

ston, 
For the false prophete that tou bile vest upon.' 

6 ' Be stille, leve soster, thin herte the tobreke ! 
Wiste min loverd Crist, ful wel he wolde be 

wreke.' 

7 'Judas, go thou on the roc, heie upon the 

ston; 

Lei thin heved imy barm, slep thou the 
anon.' 

8 Sone so Judas of slepe was awake, 

Thritti platen of selver from hym weren itake. 

Pantheon, Pistorius, German, Script., ed. Struve, n, 243, 
or E. du Me'ril, Poe'sies pop. latines du Moyen Age, p. 321 ; 
Genesi de Scriptura, Biblioteca Catalana, p. 20, etc. 



244 



24. BONNIE ANNIE 



9 He drou hymselve bi the cop, that al it lavede 13 In him com ur lord Crist gon, as is postles 



seten at mete : 
'.Wou sitte ye, postles, ant wi nule ye ete? 



a blode ; 

The Jewes out of Jurselem awenden he were 
wode. 

14 [' Wou sitte ye, postles, ant wi nule ye ete ?] 
10 Foret hym com the riche Jeu that heihte Pi- Ic am ibouht ant isold today for oure mete.' 



latus : 
Wolte sulle thi loverd, that hette Jesus ? ' 



eihte, 

Bote hit be for the thritti platen that he me 
bitaihte.' 

12 'Wolte sulle thi lord Crist for enes cunnes 

golde ? ' 

' Nay, bote hit be for the platen that he habben 
wolde.' 



15 Up stod him Judas : ' Lord, am I that . . . ? 
' I nas never othe stude ther me the evel spec.' 

16 Up him stod Peter, and spec wid al is mihte, 



17 ' Thau Pilatus him come wid ten hundred 

cnihtes, 
Yet ic wolde, loverd, for thi love fihte.' 

18 ' Still thou be, Peter, wel I the icnowe ; 
Thou wolt fursake me thrien ar the coc him 

crowe.' 



Not divided into stanzas in Reliquice Antiques. 

3 2 . meist. 
10 1 . heiste. 

II 1 . eiste. II 2 . bitaiste. 
14 2 . i-boust. 
16 1 . miste. 



17 1 . cnistes. 17 2 . fiste. 

In the absence of the original manuscript, I have 
thought it better to change Wright's s in the 
above instances (3-17) to h. In this substitu 
tion I follow Matzner's Altenglische Sprachpro- 
ben, i, 114. 



24 

BONNIE ANNIE 

A. 'Bonnie Annie,' Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Bal- B. 'The High Banks o Yarrow,' Motherwell's MS., 
lads, p. 123. p. 652. 



HAD an old copy of this still pretty and 
touching, but much disordered, ballad been 
saved, we should perhaps have had a story 
like this. Bonnie Annie, having stolen her 
father's gold and her mother's fee, and fled 
with her paramour (like the maid in No 4), 
the ship in which she is sailing encounters a 
storm and cannot get on. Annie is seized 
with the pangs of travail, and deplores the ab 



sence of women (B 6, 7, A 9, 10 ; compare No 
15, 21-26). The sailors say there is some 
body on board who is marked for death, or fly 
ing from a just doom. They cast lots, and the 
lot falls on Annie, a result which strikes us 
as having more semblance of the " corrupted 
currents of this world " than of a pure judg 
ment of God. Annie, conscious only of her 
own guilt, asks to be thrown overboard. Her 



24. BONNIE ANNIE 



245 



paramour offers great sums to the crew to save 
her, but their efforts prove useless, and Annie 
again begs, or they now insist, that she shall 
be cast into the sea with her babe. This done, 
the ship is able to sail on ; Annie floats to 
shore and is buried there. 

The captain of the ship is the guilty man 
in A, in B a rich squire. A may exhibit the 
original plot, but it is just as likely that the 
captain was substituted for a passenger, un 
der the influence of another ballad, in which 
there is no Annie, but a ship-master stained 
with many crimes, whom the lot points out as 
endangering or obstructing the vessel. See 
' Brown Robyn's Confession,' further on. 



If the narrative in Jonah, i, is the ultimate 
source of this and similar stories, it must be 
owned that the tradition has maintained its 
principal traits in this ballad remarkably well. 
Jonah flies from the presence of the Lord in a 
ship ; the ship is overtaken by a tempest ; * 
the sailors cast lots to know who is the guilty 
cause, and the lot falls on Jonah ; he bids 
the sailors take him up and cast him into the 
sea ; nevertheless the men row hard to bring 
the ship to land, but cannot succeed ; they 
throw Jonah into the water, and the storm 
ceases.f 

Translated in Grundtvig's Engelske og 
skotske Folkeviser, p. 199, No 31. 



Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 123. 

1 THERE was a rich lord, and he lived in Forf ar, 
He had a fair lady, and one only dochter. 

2 O she was fair, dear, she was bonnie ! 

A ship's captain courted her to be his honey. 

3 There cam a ship's captain out owre the sea 

sailing, 

He courted this young thing till he got her wi 
bairn. 

4 ' Ye '11 steal your father's gowd, and your 

mother's money, 
And I '11 mak ye a lady in Ireland bonnie.' 

5 She 's stown her father's gowd, and her moth 

er's money, 

But she was never a lady in Ireland bonnie. 
***** 

6 ' There 's fey f owk in our ship, she winna sail 

for me, 

There 's fey fowk in our ship, she winna sail 
for me.' 

* Jonah is asleep below. This trait we find in several 
Norse ballads : see ' Brown Robyn's Confession.' 

t A singular episode in the life of Saint Mary Magdalen 
in the Golden Legend, Grasse, c. xcvi, 2, p. 409 ff, indicates 
a belief that even a dead body might prejudice the safety of 
a ship. The princess of Marseilles, in the course of a storm, 
has given birth to a boy and expired. The sailors demand 
that the body shall be thrown into the sea (and apparently 



7 They 've casten black bullets twice six and 

forty, 

And ae the black bullet fell on bonnie An 
nie. 

8 ' Ye '11 tak me in your arms twa, lo, lift me 

cannie, 

Throw me out owre board, your ain dear An 
nie.' 

9 He has tane her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her 

cannie, 

He has laid her on a bed of down, his ain dear 
Annie. 

10 ' What can a woman do, love, I '11 do for 

ye;' 

* Muckle can a woman do, ye canna do for 
me.' 

11 ' Lay about, steer about, lay our ship cannie, 
Do all ye can to save my dear Annie.' 

12 ' I 've laid about, steerd about, laid about can 

nie, 
But all I can do, she winna sail for me. 

the boy, too), for, they say, as long as it shall be with us, 
this thumping will not cease. They presently see a hill, and. 
think it better to put off the corpse, and the boy, there, than 
that these should be devoured by sea-monsters. Fear will 
fasten upon anything in such a case. 

The Digby Mystery of Mary Magdalene has this scene, 
at p. 122 of the New Shakspere Society edition, ed. Furni- 
vall. 



246 24. BONNIE ANNIE 

13 ' Ye '11 tak her in your arms twa, lo, lift her 15 As the ship sailed, bonnie Annie she swam, 

cannie, And she was at Ireland as soon as them. 

And throw her out owre board, your ain dear 

Annie.' 16 He made his love a coffin of the gowd sae yel 

low, 

14 He has tane her in his arms twa, lo, lifted her And buried his bonnie love doun in a sea val- 

cannie, ley. 

He has thrown her out owre board, his ain dear 
Annie. 



B 8 ' Gae wash your hands in the cauld spring 

water, 

MotherwelTs MS., p. 652. From the singing of a boy. , , ,, 

Henry French, Ayr. And ^ them on a towel a S^ ili m s ^er. 

1 DOWN in Dumbarton there wonnd a rich mer- 9 ' And tak me by the middle, and lift me up 

chant, saftlie, 

Down in Dumbarton there wond a rich mer- And throw me ower shipboard, baith me and 

chant, my babie.' 
And he had nae family but ae only dochter. 

Sing fal lal de deedle, fal lal de deedle lair, 10 He took her by the middle, and lifted her 

a day saftly, 

And threw her ower shipboard, baith her and 

2 There cam a rich squire, intending to woo her babie. 

her, 

He wooed her until he had got her wi babie. 11 Sometimes she did sink, sometimes she did 

float it, 

3 ' Oh what shall I do ! oh what shall come o Until that she cam to the high banks o Yarrow. 

me! 

Baith father and mither will think naething o 12 < captain tak gowd, sailors tak money, 

me.' And launch out your sma boat till I sail for my 

honey.' 

4 ' Gae up to your father, bring down gowd and 

money, 13 ' How can I tak gowd, how can I tak money ? 

And I '11 take ye ower to a braw Irish la- My ship 's on a sand bank, she winna sail for 

die.' me.' 

5 She gade to her father, brought down gowd 14 The captain took gowd, the sailors took money, 

and money, And they launchd out their sma boat till he 

And she 's awa ower to a braw Irish ladle. sailed for his honey. 

6 She hadna sailed far till the young thing cried 15 ' Mak my love a coffin o the gowd sae yellow, 

' Women ! ' Whar the wood it is dear, and the planks they 

' What women can do, my dear, I '11 do for are narrow, 

you.' And bury my love on the high banks o Yar 
row.' 
. 7 ' haud your tongue, foolish man, dinna talk 

vainly, 16 They made her a coffin o the gowd sae yellow, 

For ye never kent what a woman driet for And buried her deep on the high banks o Yar- 

you. row. 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



247 



A. Printed by Kinloch in four-line stanzas. 
16 1 . coffin off the Goats of Yerrow. 

B. 16. Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. xcix, 146, gives 
the stanza thus : 

They made his love a coffin of the gowd sae 
yellow, 



They made his love a coffin of the gowd 

sae yellow, 
And they buried her deep on the high 

banks of Yarrow. 
Sing fal lal, de deedle, fal lal, de deedle 

lair, Oh a Day ! 



25 

WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



A. ' Willie, Willie,' Kinloch's MSS, i, 53. 



C. Motherwell's MS., p. 187. 



B. a. ' Blue Flowers and Yellow,' Buchan's Ballads of D. ' Amang the blue flowers and yellow,' Motherwell's 
the North of Scotland, i, 185. b. ' The Blue Flow- Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xix, No xvn, one stanza, 
ers and the Yellow,' Christie, Traditional Ballad 
Airs, i, 120. 



THIS piece was first printed by Buchan, in 
1828, and all the copies which have been re 
covered are of about that date. The device 
of a lover's feigning death as a means of win 
ning a shy mistress enjoys a considerable pop 
ularity in European ballads. Even more fa 
vorite is a ballad in which the woman adopts 
this expedient, in order to escape from the con 
trol of her relations : see ' The Gay Goshawk,' 
with which will be given another form of the 
present story. 

A Danish ballad answering to our Feigned 
Lyke-Wake is preserved, as I am informed 
by Professor Grundtvig, in no less than four 
teen manuscripts, some of them of the 16th 
century, and is still living in tradition. Five 
versions, as yet un printed, A-E, have been 
furnished me by the editor of the Ballads of 
Denmark. 

A, from a manuscript of the sixteenth cen 
tury. Young Herre Karl asks his mother's 
rede how he may get the maid his heart is 
set upon. She advises him to feign sickness, 
and be laid on his bier, no one to know his 



counsel but the page who is to do his errands. 
The page bids the lady to the wake that night. 
Little Kirstin asks her mother's leave to keep 
wake over Karl. The wake is to be in the 
upper room of Karl's house. The mother says, 
Be on your guard ; he means to cheat you ; 
but Kirstin, neither listening to her mother 
nor asking her father, goes to keep wake in 
the upper room. When she went in she could 
not see the lights for her tears. She begged 
all the good people to pray for Karl's soul, sat 
down by his head and made her own prayer, 
and murmured, While thou livedst I loved 
thee. She lifted the cloths, and there lay Karl 
wide awake and laughing. " All the devils in 
hell receive thy soul ! " she cried. " If thou 
livedst a hundred years, thou shouldst never 
have my good will ! " Karl proposed that she 
should pass the night with him. " Why would 
you deceive me ! " Kirstin exclaimed. " Why 
did you not go to my father and betroth me 
honorably?" Karl immediately rode to her 
father's to do this, and they were married. 
B. a, from MSS of 1610 and later, almost 



248 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



identical with b, ' Den forstilte Vaagestue,' 
Levninger, Part n, 1784, p. 34, No 7.* This 
version gives us some rather unnecessary pre 
vious history. Karl has sued for Ingerlille 
three years, and had an ill answer. He fol 
lows her to church one fine day, and, after 
mass, squeezes her fingers and asks, Will you 
take pity on me ? She replies, You must ask 
my father and friends ; and he, J have, and 
can get no good answer. If you will give 
me your troth, we can see to that best our 
selves. " Never," she says. " Farewell, then ; 
but Christ may change your mind." Karl 
meets his mother on his way from church, 
who asks why he is so pale. He tells her 
his plight, and is advised, as before, to use 
craft. The wake is held on Karl's premises, f 
Ingerlille, in scarlet mantle, goes with her 
maids. She avows her love, but adds that it 
was a fixed idea in her mind that he would 
deceive her. She lifts up the white cloth that 
covers the face. Karl laughs, and says, We 
were good friends before, so are we still. Bear 
out the bier, and follow me to bed with the 
fair maid. She hopes he will have respect 
for her honor. Karl reassures her, leaves her 
with his mother, rides to Ingerlille's house, 
obtains her parents' approbation, and buys 
wine for his wedding. 

C, from manuscripts of the sixteenth cen 
tury. Karl is given out for dead, and his 
pages ride to the convent to ask that his body 
may be laid in the cloister. The bier is borne 
in ; the prioress comes to meet it, with much 
respect. The pages go about bidding maids 
to the wake. Ellin asks her mother if she 
may go. (This looks as if there had origi 
nally been no convent in the ballad.) Her 
mother tells her to put on red gold and be 
wary of Karl, he is so very tricky. When 
Ellin owns her attachment, Karl whispers 
softly, Do not weep, but follow me. Horses 
were ready at the portal black horses all ! 

* But a has two stanzas more : the first a stev-stamme, 
or lyrical introduction (see p. 7), the other, 31, nearly a rep 
etition of Sandvig's 29. 

t After the page has bidden Ingerlille to the wake, we are 
told, a 27, 28, b 26, 27 : all the convent hells were going, 



Karl sprang from the bier, took Ellin, and 
made for the door. The nuns, who stood read 
ing in the choir, thought it was an angel that 
had translated her, and wished one would 
come for them. Karl, with fifteen men who 
were in waiting, carried Ellin home, and drank 
his bridal with her. 

D, from recent oral tradition. As Karl lay 
in his bed, he said, How shall I get the fair 
maid out of the convent ? His foster-mother 
heard him, and recommended him to feign 
death and bid the fair maid to his wake. The 
maid asked her father's leave to go, but he 
said, Nay, the moment you are inside the door 
he will seize you by the foot. But when the 
page, who had first come in blue, comes back 
in scarlet, she goes. She stands at Karl's head 
and says, I never shall forget thee ; at his feet, 
" I wished thee well ; " at his side, " Thou 
wast my dearest." Then she turns and bids 
everybody good-night, but Karl seizes her, 
and calls to his friends to come drink his 
bridal. We hear nothing of the convent after 
the first stanza. 

E, from oral tradition of another quarter. 
Karl consults his mother how he shall get lit 
tle Kirstin out of the convent, and receives 
the same counsel. A page is sent to the con 
vent, and asks who will come to the wake 
now Herr Karl is dead ? Little Kirstin, with 
out application to the prioress, goes to her 
mother, who does not forbid her, but warns 
her that Karl will capture her as sure as she 
goes into the room. 

The maid has the door by the handle, 
And is wishing them all good-night ; 

Young Karl, that lay a corpse on the bier, 
Sprang up and held her tight. 

' Why here 's a board and benches, 
And there 's no dead body here ; 

This eve I '11 drink my mead and wine, 
All with my Kirstin dear. 

and the tidings spreading that the knight was dead ; all the 
ladies of the convent sat sewing, except Ingerlille, who wept. 
But Ingerlille, in the next stanza, puts on her scarlet cloak 
and goes to the hb'jeloft to see her father and mother. The 
two stanzas quoted signify nothing in this version. 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



249 



' Why here 's a board and beds too, 
And here there 's nobody dead ; 

To-morrow will I go to the priest, 
All with my plighted maid.' 

P, another copy from recent tradition, was 
published in 1875, in Kristensen's Jyske 
Folkeviser, n, 213, No 62, ' Vaagestuen.' 
There is no word of a convent here. The story 
is made very short. Kirsten's mother says 
she will be fooled if she goes to the wake. 
The last stanza, departing from all other copies, 
says that when Kirsten woke in the morning 
Karl was off. 

G. ' Klosterranet,' Levninger, I, 23, No 4 
(1780), Danske Viser, iv, 261, No 212, a very 
second-rate ballad, may have the praise of 
preserving consistency and conventual dis 
cipline. The young lady does not slip out to 
see her mother without leave asked and had. 
It is my persuasion that the convent, with its 
little jest about the poor nuns, is a later in 
vention, and that C is a blending of two dif 
ferent stories. In G, Herr Morten betroths 
Proud Adeluds, who is more virtuous than 
rich. His friends object ; her friends do not 
want spirit, and swear that she shall never be 
his. Morten's father sends him out of the 
country, and Adeluds is put into a convent. 
After nine years Morten returns, and, having 
rejected an advantageous match proposed by 
his father, advises with his brother, Herr Ni- 
laus, how to get his true love out of the clois 
ter. The brother's plan is that of the mother 
and foster-mother in the other versions. Herr 
Nilaus promises a rich gift if Morten's body 
may be buried within the cloister. From this 
point the story is materially the same as in C. 

H. A copy, which I have not yet seen, 
in Rahbek's Lsesning i blandede ^Emner (or 
Hesperus), m, 151, 1822 (Bergstrb'm). 

' Hertugen af Skage,' Danske Viser, n, 191, 
No 88, has this slight agreement with the fore 
going ballads. Voldemar, the king's youngest 
son, hearing that the duke has a daughter, 
Hildegerd, that surpasses all maids, seeks her 
out in a convent in which she has taken refuge, 
and gets a cold reception. He feigns death, 

32 



desiring that his bones may repose in the 
cloister. His bier is carried into the convent 
church. Hildegerd lights nine candles for 
him, and expresses compassion for his early 
death. While she is standing before the altar 
of the Virgin, Voldemar carries her out of the 
church by force. 

This, says Afzelius, 1814, is one of the com 
monest ballads in Sweden, and is often rep 
resented as a drama by young people in coun 
try places. A a, ' Herr Carl, eller Klosterrof- 
vet,' Afzelius, I, 179, No 26, new ed. No 24 ; 
b, Afzelius, Sago-Hafder, ed. 1851, IV, 106. 
B. Atterbom, Poetisk Kalender for 1816, p. 
63, ' Det lefvande Liket.' C. Rancken, Nagra 
Prof af Folksang, o. s. v., p. 13, No 4. These 
differ but slightly from Danish D, B. All 
three conclude with the humorous verses about 
the nuns, which in Rancken's copy take' this 
rollicking turn : 

And all the nuns in the convent they all danced in 

a ring; 
' Christ send another such angel, to take us all under 

his wing ! ' 

And all the nuns in the convent, they all danced 

each her lone ; 
< Christ send another such angel, to take us off every 



one! 



i ' 



Bergstrb'm, new Afzelius, n, 131, refers to 
another version in Gyllenmars' visbok, p. 191, 
and to a good copy obtained by himself. 

An Icelandic version for the 17th century, 
which is after the fashion of Danish C, G, is 
given in Islenzk FornkvaeSi, n, 59, No 40, 
4 Marteins kviSa.' The lover has in all three 
a troop of armed men in waiting outside of the 
convent. 

Professor Bugge has obtained a version in 
Norway, which, however, is as to language 
essentially Danish. (Bergstrom, as above.) 

There is a very gay and pretty south-Eu 
ropean ballad, in which the artifice of feigning 
death is successfully tried by a lover after the 
failure of other measures. 

A. Magyar. Arany and Gyulai, I, 172, 
No 18, ' Palbeli Szdp Antal ; ' translated by 



250 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



Aigner, Ungarische Volksdichtungen, p. 80, 
* Schbn Anton.' Handsome Tony tells his 
mother that he shall die for Helen. The 
mother says, Not vet. I will build a mar- 

/ * / 

vellous mill. The first wheel shall grind out 
pearls, the middle stone discharge kisses, the 
third wheel distribute small change. The 
pretty maids will come to see, and Helen 
among them. Helen asks her mother's leave 
to see the mill. " Go not," the mother replies. 
" They are throwing the net, and a fox will 
be caught." Tony again says he must die. 
His mother says, not yet ; for she will build 
an iron bridge ; the girls will come to see it, 
and Helen among them. Helen asks to see 
the bridge ; her mother answers as before. 
Tony says once more that he shall die for 
Helen. His mother again rejoins, Not yet. 
Make believe to be dead ; the girls will come 
to see you, and Helen among them. Helen 
entreats to be allowed to go to see the hand 
some young man that has died. Her mother 
tells her she will never come back. Tony's 
mother calls to him to get up ; the girl he was 
dying for is even now before the gate, in the 
court, standing at his feet. "Never," says 
Helen, " saw I so handsome a dead man, 
eyes smiling, mouth tempting kisses, and his 
feet all ready for a spring." Up he jumped 
and embraced her. 

B. Italian. Ferraro, Canti popolari mon- 
ferrini, p. 59, No 40, II Genovese.' The 
Genoese, not obtaining the beautiful daughter 
of a rich merchant on demand, plants a gar 
den. All the girls come for flowers, except 
the one desired. He then gives a ball, with 
thirty-two musicians. All the girls are there, 
but not the merchant's daughter. He then 
builds a church, very richly adorned. All the 
girls come to mass, all but one. Next he sets 



the bells a ringing, in token of his death. The 
fair one goes to the window to ask who is 
dead. The good people (" ra bun-ha gent," 
in the Danish ballad " det gode folk ") tell 
her that it is her first love, and suggest that 
she should attend the funeral. She asks her 
father, who consents if she will not cry. As 
she was leaving the church, the lover came to 
life, and called to the priests and friars to stop 
singing. They went to the high altar to be 
married. 

C. Slovenian. Vraz, Narodne pesni ilirske, 
p. 93, ' Cudna bolezen ' (' Strange Sickness ') ; 
translated by Anastasius Griiri, Volkslieder 
aus Krain, p. 36, ' Der Scheintodte.' " Build 
a church, mother," cries the love-sick youth, 
" that all who will may hear mass ; perhaps 
my love among them." The mother built a 
church, one and another came, but not his 
love. " Dig a well, mother, that those who 
will may fetch water ; perhaps my love among 
them." The well was dug, one and another 
came for water, but not his love. " Say I am 
dead, mother, that those who will may come 
to pray." Those who wished came, his love 
first of all. The youth was peeping through 
the window. "What kind of dead man is 
this, that stretches his arms for an embrace, 
and puts out his mouth for a kiss ?" 

Danish G translated by the Rev. J. John- 
stone, ' The Robbery of the Nunnery, or, 
The Abbess Outwitted,' Copenhagen, 1786 
(Danske Viser, IV, 366) ; by Prior, m, 400. 
Swedish A, by G. Stephens, For. Quar. Rev., 
1841, XXVI, 49, and by the Howitts, Lit. and 
Rom. of Northern Europe, I, 292. English 
C, by Rosa Warrens, Schottische V. 1., p. 144, 
No 33. 



Kinloch's MSS, i, 53, from the recitation of Mary Barr, 
Lesmahagow, aged upwards of seventy. May, 1827. 

1 WILLIE, Willie, I '11 learn you a wile,' 

And the sun shines over the valleys and a' 



' How this pretty fair maid ye may beguile.' 
Amang the blue flowrs and the yellow 
and a' 

2 ' Ye maun lie doun just as ye were dead, 
And tak your winding-sheet around your head. 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



251 



3 ' Ye maun gie the bellman his bell-groat, 
To ring your dead-bell at your lover's yett.' 

4 He lay doun just as he war dead, 

And took his winding-sheet round his head. 

5 He gied the bellman his bell-groat, 

To ring his dead-bell at his lover's yett. 

6 ' wha is this that is dead, I hear ? ' 

* O wha but Willie that loed ye sae dear.' 

7 She is to her father's chamber gone, 
And on her knees she 's fallen down. 

8 ' father, father, ye maun grant me 

this ; 
I hope that ye will na tak it amiss. 

9 That I to Willie's burial should go ; 
For he is dead, full well I do know.' 



10 ' Ye '11 tak your seven bauld brethren wi thee, 
And to Willie's burial straucht go ye.' 

11 It 's whan she cam to the outmost yett, 
She made the silver fly round for his sake. 

12 It 's whan she cam to the inmost yett, 

She made the red gowd fly round for his sake. 

13 As she walked frae the court to the parlour 

there, 
The pretty corpse syne began for to steer. 

14 He took her by the waist sae neat and sae sma, 
And threw her atween him and the wa. 

15 Willie, Willie, let me alane this nicht, 
let me alane till we're wedded richt.' 

16 ' Ye cam unto me baith sae meek and mild, 
But I '11 mak ye gae hame a wedded wife wi 

child.' 



B 



a. Buchan's Ballads of the North of Scotland, i, 185. b. 
Christie, Traditional Ballad Airs, i, 120. 

1 ' Willie my son, what makes you sae sad ? ' 

As the sun shines over the valley 
' I lye sarely sick for the love of a maid.' 
Amang the blue flowers and the yellow 

2 * Were she an heiress or lady sae free, 
That she will take no pity on thee ? 

3 ' Willie, my son, I '11 learn you a wile, 
How this fair maid ye may beguile. 

4 ' Ye '11 gie the principal bellman a groat, 
And ye 11 gar him cry your dead lyke-wake.' 

5 Then he gae the principal bellman a groat, 
He bade him cry his dead lyke-wake. 

6 This maiden she stood till she heard it a', 
And down frae her cheeks the tears did fa. 

7 She is hame to her father's ain bower : 

' I '11 gang to yon lyke-wake ae single hour.' 



8 ' Ye must take with you your ain blither 

John; 
It 's not meet for maidens to venture alone.' 

9 ' I '11 not take with me my brither John, 
But I '11 gang along, myself all alone.' 

10 When she came to young Willie's yate, 
His seven brithers were standing thereat. 

11 Then they did conduct her into the ha, 
Amang the weepers and merry mourners a'. 

12 When she lifted up the covering sae red, 
With melancholy countenance to look on the 

dead, 

13 He 's taen her in his arms, laid her gainst the 

wa, 
Says, ' Lye ye here, fair maid, till day.' 

14 '0 spare me, O spare me, but this single 

night, 
And let me gang hame a maiden sae bright.' 

15 ' Tho all your kin were about your bower, 
Ye shall not be a maiden ae single hour. 



252 



25. WILLIE'S LYKE-WAKE 



16 ' Fair maid, ye came here without a convoy, 
But ye shall return wi a horse and a boy. 



17 ' Ye came here a maiden sae mild, 

But ye shall gae hame a wedded wife with 
child.' 





MotherwelTs MS., p. 187. 

1 ' O WILLIE, Willie, what makes thee so sad ? ' 

And the sun shines over the valley 
' I have loved a lady these seven years and 

mair.' 

Down amang the blue flowers and the yel 
low 

2 ' Willie, lie down as thou were dead, 
And lay thy winding-sheet down at thy head. 

3 ' And gie to the bellman a belling-great, 

To ring the dead-bell at thy love's bower-yett.' 

4 He laid him down as he were dead, 

And he drew the winding-sheet oer his head. 

5 He gied to the bellman a belling-great, 

To ring the dead-bell at his love's bower-yett. 

**** 



6 When that she came to her true lover's gate, 
She dealt the red gold and all for his sake. 

7 And when that she came to her true lover's 

bower, 

She had not been there for the space of half an 
hour, 

8 Till that she cam to her true lover's bed, 
And she lifted the winding-sheet to look at the 

dead. 

9 He took her by the hand so meek and sma, 
And he cast her over between him and the wa. 

10 ' Tho all your friends were in the bower, 

1 would not let you go for the space of half an 
hour. 

11 ' You came to me without either horse or boy, 
But I will send you home with a merry con 
voy.' 



MotherwelTs Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xix, Noxvu. 

' O JOHNTE, dear Johnie, what makes ye sae 

sad? ' 
As the sun shines ower the valley 



I think nae music will mak ye glad.' 
Amang the blue flowers and the yellow 



B. b is a with stanzas 3, 12-15 omitted, and 
" a few alterations, some of them given from 
the recitation of an old woman." " Buchan's 
version differs little from the way the old 
woman sang the ballad." The old woman's 
variations, so far as r adopted, are certainly of 
the most trifling. 

I 2 . I am. 2 1 . Is she. 7 1 . And she. 
16 1 . Ye 've come. 16 2 . And ye. 



17. Evidently by Christie : 

1 Fair maid, I love thee as my life, 

But ye shall gae hame a lovd wedded wife.' 

C. Burden. The lines are transposed in the sec 
ond stanza, but are given in the third in the 
order of the first. 
3 1 , 5 1 . MS. belling great. 
II 2 . you come. 



26. THE THREE RAVENS 



253 



26 
THE THREE RAYENS 



a. Melismata. Musicall Phansies. Fitting the Court, 
Cittie, and Countrey Humours. London, 1611, No 
20.* [T. Ravenscroft.] 



b. ' The Three Ravens,' Motherwell's Minstrelsy, 
Appendix, p. xviii, No xn. 



a was printed from Melismata, by Ritson, 
in his Ancient Songs, 1790, p. 155. Mr. Chap- 
pell remarked, about 1855, Popular Music of 
the Olden Time, I, 59, that this ballad was 
still so popular in some parts of the country 
that he had " been favored with a variety of 
copies of it, written down from memory, and 
all differing in some respects, both as to words 
and tune, but with sufficient resemblance to 
prove a similar origin." Mother well, Min 
strelsy, Introduction, p. Ixxvii, note 49, says 
he had met with several copies almost the 
same as a. b is the first stanza of one of these 
(traditional) versions, "very popular in Scot 
land." 

The following verses, first printed in the 
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and known 
in several versions in Scotland, are treated by 
Motherwell and others as a traditionary form 
of ' The Three Ravens.' They are, however, 
as Scott says, "rather a counterpart than a 
copy of the other," and sound something like 
a cynical variation of the tender little English 
ballad. Dr Rimbault (Notes and Queries, 
Ser. v, in, 518) speaks of unprinted copies 
taken down by Mr Blaikie and by Mr Thomas 
Lyle of Airth. 

THE TWA CORBIES. 

a. Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, in, 239, ed. 1803, 
communicated by C. K. Sharpe, as written down from tra 
dition by a lady. b. Albyn's Anthology, n, 27, 1818, " from 
the singing of Mr Thomas Shortreed, of Jedburgh, as sung 
and recited by his mother." c. Chambers's Scottish Bal 
lads, p. 283, partly from recitation and partly from the Bor 
der Minstrelsy, d. Fraser-Tytler MS., p. 70. 

* Misprinted 22. 



1 As I was walking all alane, 

I heard twa corbies making a mane ; 

The tane unto the t'other say, 

4 Where sail we gang and dine to-day ? ' 

2 ' In behint yon auld fail dyke, 

I wot there lies a new slain knight ; 
And naebody kens that he lies there, 
But his hawk, his hound, and lady fair. 

3 ' His hound is to the hunting gane, 
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame, 
His lady 's ta'en another mate, 

So we may mak our dinner sweet. 

4 ' Ye '11 sit on his white hause-bane, 
And I '11 pike out his bonny blue een ; 
Wi ae lock o his gowden hair 

We '11 theek our nest when it grows bare. 

5 ' Mony a one for him makes mane, 
But nane sail ken where he is gane ; 
Oer his white banes, when they are bare, 
The wind sail blaw for evermair.' 

'The Three Ravens' is translated by 
Grundtvig, Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, 
p. 145, No 23 ; by Henrietta Schubart, p. 155 ; 
Gerhard, p. 95 ; Rosa Warrens, Schottische 
V. 1. der Vorzeit, p. 198 ; Wolff, Halle der 
Volker, I, 12, Hausschatz, p. 205. 

' The Twa Corbies ' (Scott), by Grundtvig, 
p. 143, No 22 ; Arndt, p. 224 ; Gerhard, p. 
94 ; Schubart, p. 157 ; Knortz, L. u. R. Alt- 
Englands, p. 194; Rosa Warrens, p. 89. The 
three first stanzas, a little freely rendered into 
four, pass for Pushkin's : Works, 1855, n, 
462, xxiv. 



254 



20. THE THREE RAVENS 



1 THERE were three rauens sat on a tree, 

Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe 
There were three rauens sat on a tree, 

With a downe 

There were three rauens sat on a tree, 
They were as blacke as they might be. 

With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, 
downe 

2 The one of them said to his mate, 

' Where shall we our breakef ast take ? ' 

3 ' Downe in yonder greene field, 

There lies a knight slain vnder his shield. 

4 ' His hounds they lie downe at his f eete, 
So well they can their master keepe. 



5 ' His haukes they flie so eagerly, 
There 's no fowle dare him come nie.' 

6 Downe there comes a fallow doe, 

As great with yong as she might goe. 

7 She lift vp his bloudy hed, 

And kist his wounds that were so red. 

8 She got him vp vpon her backe, 
And carried him to earthen lake. 

9 She buried him before the prime, 

She was dead herselfe ere euen-song time. 



b. THREE ravens sat upon a tree, 

Hey down, hey derry day 
Three ravens sat upon a tree, 

Hey down 

Three ravens sat upon a tree, 
And they were black as black could be. 

And sing lay doo and la doo and day 



Variations of The Twa Corbies. 

b. 1. As I cam by yon auld house end, 
I saw twa corbies sittin thereon. 

2 1 . Whare but by yon new fa' en birk. 

3. We '11 sit upon his bonny breast-bane, 
And we'll pick out his bonny gray 

een; 
We '11 set our claws intil his yallow 

hair, 
And big our bowr, it 's a' blawn bare. 

4. My mother clekit me o an egg, 

And brought me up i the feathers gray, 



And bade me flee whereer I wad, 
For winter wad be my dying day. 

5. Now winter it is come and past, 
And a' the birds are biggin their 

nests, 

But I '11 flee high aboon them a', 
And sing a sang for summer's sake. 

O. 1. As I gaed doun by yon hous-en, 

Twa corbies there were sittand their 

lane. 

2 1 . O down beside yon new-faun birk. 
3 1 . His horse. 3 2 . His hounds to bring the 

wild deer hame. 

4. we '11 sit on his bonnie breist-bane, 
And we'll pyke out his bonnie grey 
een. 

d. I 1 , walking forth. I 2 , the ither. I 8 , we twa 

dine. 

3 2 . wild bird. 
5 2 . naebody kens. 
5 8 . when we 've laid them bare. 5 4 . win 

may blaw. 



27. THE WHUMMIL BORE. 



255 



27 

THE WHUMMIL BORE 

a. Motherwell's MS., p. 191. b. Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xvi, No in. 



THIS ballad, if it ever were one, seems not commonplace in English and elsewhere : e. g., 
to have been met with, or at least to have The Squire of Low Degree : ' 
been thought worth notice, by anybody but 
Motherwell. As already observed in the 
preface to 4 Hind Horn,' stanza 2 seems to 
have slipped into that ballad, in consequence 



He served the kyng, her father dere, 
Fully the tyme of seven yere. w 5, 6. 



of the resemblance of stanza 1 to F 2, H 3 of 
* Hind Horn.' This first stanza is, however, a 



He loved her more then seven yere, 

Yet was he of her love never the nere. w 17, 18. 

Ritson, Met. Eom. in, 145 f . 



1 SEVEN lang years I hae served the king, 

Fa fa fa fa lilly 
And I never got a sight of his daughter but 

ane. 

With my glimpy, glimpy, glimpy eedle, 
Lilluin too tee a ta too a tee a ta a tally 

2 I saw her thro a whummil bore, 

And I neer got a sight of her no more. 



3 Twa was putting on her gown, 
And ten was putting pins therein. 

4 Twa was putting on her shoon, 
And twa was buckling them again. 

5 Five was combing down her hair, 

And I never got a sight of her nae mair. 

6 Her neck and breast was like the snow, 
Then from the bore I was forced to go. 



a. 2 2 . Variation : And she was washing in a pond. b. Burden : Fa, fa, falilly 

6 2 . Variation : Ye might have tied me with a With my glimpy, glimpy, 

strae. eedle, 

Lillum too a tee too a tally. 



256 



28. BUBD ELLEN AND YOUNG TAMLANE 



28 



BURD ELLEN AND YOUNG TAMLANE 



Maidment's North Countrie Garland, 1824, p. 21. Com- her childhood," 
municated by R. Pitcairn, " from the recitation of a date, 
female relative, who had heard it frequently sung in 



about sixty years before the above 



MOTHEKWELL informs us, Minstrelsy, p. 
xciv of Introduction, note to 141, that ' Burd 
Helen and Young Tamlene ' is very popular, 
and that various sets of it are to be found tra 
ditionally current (1827). Still 1 have not 



found it, out of Maidment's little book ; not 
even in Motherwell's large folio. 

I cannot connect this fragment with what 
is elsewhere handed down concerning Tam- 
lane, or with the story of any other ballad. 



1 BUBD ELLEN sits in her bower windowe, 

With a double laddy double, and for the 

double dow 
Twisting the red silk and the blue. 

With the double rose and the May-hay 

2 And whiles she twisted, and whiles she twan, 
And whiles the tears fell down amang. 



3 Till once there by cam Young Tamlane : 

' Come light, oh light, and rock your young 



4 ' If you winna rock him, you may let him rair, 
For I hae rockit my share and mair.' 

***** 

5 Young Tamlane to the seas he 's gane, 
And a' women's curse in his company's gane. 




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